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Serving: MN
manure application in field Paula Mohr
READY FOR THE RULE: Farm and water quality meetings in February will discuss Minnesota’s new groundwater protection rule that becomes effective January 2020. The rule restricts the use of nitrogen fertilizer in the fall and on frozen soils in areas of the state with vulnerable groundwater.

Improve nutrient management for profitability, ecology

Ag Water Stewardship: Upcoming meetings focus on the latest in nutrient management and water quality.

Getting the most out of your fertilizer investment can be challenging, especially in times of low grain prices, and compounded by wet conditions like many have encountered in recent years. And while farmers are trying to zero in on the most efficient fertility program for profitability, state agencies are watching the evolution of nutrient management practices with the goal of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus transport to surface waters and groundwater.

Hosted by the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center and University of Minnesota Extension along with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, two upcoming conferences provide latest information on fertilizer and manure management and water quality. This year’s conferences will also include updates from state agencies on progress toward reducing nutrients in water resources and the new Groundwater Protection Rule, which goes into effect next month.

The Twelfth Annual Nutrient Management Conference will be held Feb. 4 at the Verizon Conference Center in Mankato, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Attendees will discuss challenges associated with the 2019 growing season, the latest research on phosphorus and potassium fertilization, and hear a progress report from MPCA on its Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

The Sixth Annual Nitrogen: Minnesota’s Grand Challenge and Compelling Opportunity Conference will be held Feb. 18 at the Arrowwood Conference Center near Alexandria from 8:30 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. Topics to be covered include nitrogen management for irrigated crops, nitrogen stabilizers urea recommendations, and nitrogen fertilization of small grains. MDA’s new Groundwater Protection Rule will also be discussed.

Farmers, agronomists and other ag professionals with an interest in nutrient management and water issues are encouraged to attend. Certified crop advisors can earn continuing education credits in nutrient management and water quality.

Several presentations will provide updates on research funded by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council, an industry-led program funded through an assessment on fertilizer sold in Minnesota. Go online to learn more about AFREC.

Conference information and registration information is available online, and online registration is encouraged. Conference registration is $20 and can be paid by credit card when registering online, or by check or cash at the door.

For more information contact Warren Formo at 952-237-9822 or by email at, or Fabian Fernandez at 612-625-7460 or

Formo is executive director of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center.

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