Sign-up deadline for the Nutrient Management Initiative is fast approaching. Farmers interested in participating are encouraged to sign-up at their local USDA-NRCS Ag Service Center by March 30.
Farmers who participate in the NMI program receive $1,340 for completing program requirements. Certified crop advisers who assist farmers in the program are also eligible for a $400 incentive for their services in 2012.
The NMI program helps farmers fine tune their nutrient application rates by comparing two application rates. Each rate is replicated three times within the farmer's field and results evaluate the economic outcomes from each rate. Participating farmers work with a certified crop adviser who assists with establishment, cropping information, and harvest reporting. Upon completion of the program the farmer and certified crop adviser receive an economic analysis based on the farmer's actual nutrient costs, yields from replicated strips using a yearly average corn price. Farmer identity is kept strictly confidential. Over 170 sites have already participated in this program.
The project results demonstrate how corn responds to nitrogen or phosphorous rates on farms across southern Minnesota. The data helps farmers better understand the effects of key production variables including soil type, new crop genetic efficiencies, application methods, and timing.
The program is funded through the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service, while MDA assists with this program through promotion, data collection and compilation, and education outreach. Farmers interested in enrolling in the 2012 NMI program should contact their local USDA-NRCS office or Brian Williams by phone at 507-665-6806 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up information and past program results are available on the MDA's website at www.mda.state.mn.us/nmi.