Cover photo for Minnesota Nutrient Management Initiative

Minnesota Nutrient Management Initiative (NMI)

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Closed March 15, 2023

The Minnesota Nutrient Management Initiative (NMI) assists farmers and crop advisers in evaluating nutrient management practices on their own fields.

It is a simple tool that can lead to improved fertilizer efficiency and improved water quality.

Each participating farmer can work with a crop adviser to set up field trials on their farms. After completing plot harvest and submitting the required forms, farmers and crop advisers are reimbursed for their time and receive a summary and analysis of their results.

  • NMI is for corn grown for grain only (wheat is acceptable in the northwest region). Wheat growers in northwest or west central Minnesota are encouraged to participate in the Minnesota Wheat On-Farm Research Network. Contact Melissa Carlson at 952-738-2000 or for more information.

  • A crop adviser and farmer must enroll in NMI separately in order to receive the full payment. Deadline for enrollment is March 15th each year.



Field trial design requirements for all trials:

  • Corn grown and harvested for grain only

  • Field length strips preferred, minimum of 30 feet wide by 600 feet in length

  • Account for all nitrogen sources including manure, alfalfa, legume credits in addition to starter, MAP and DAP

  • Rate trials should maintain a minimum 30 lb N/acre rate separation for comparison. Dealer nitrogen program comparisons are also acceptable.

  • Keep all other factors consistent across field trial area (hybrid/variety, other nutrients, rates, soils, field history, drainage, topography, equipment)

  • Crop adviser submits information to verify accuracy (If a farmer does not have a crop adviser, please contact closest NMI representative for assistance.)

*See NMI Guidelines for a complete listing of field trial requirements.


Farmers and crop advisers are compensated for each field trial. The rate of compensation is higher for those that participate in the Advanced Rate Trial. Due to State contracting policies, individual participant payments are paid in two equal installments (June & December).

Application Instructions

To enroll, farmers and crop advisers should both complete the simple registration form online, or contact a local NMI representative by March 15 (Farmers are limited to one Field Trial or Advanced Rate Trial, crop advisers are limited to ten).

  • Farmers may work with a Crop Adviser or Co-op Agronomist to set up a Field Trial and record and submit required documentation.

    • If a farmer does not have a crop adviser, the MDA staff will be able to assist with Field Trial set up, harvest, and completion of required forms.

    • Crop adviser will verify information is correct by submitting forms for the farmer.

  • Farmers can work with a Crop Adviser or MDA representative to set up Advanced Rate Trials and record and submit required documentation.

  • Individual identity and locations from the NMI program will be kept confidential and only used for year-end summaries and educational or promotional purposes.


Release Date

January 12, 2023


March 15, 2023

Financial Instrument


Minimum Award Amount

January 1, 800

Maximum Award Amount


Updated December 7, 2022

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