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BMP IMPLEMENTATION: Many farmers adopt best management practices, but why? Profitability may be one reason. How about others? A University of Minnesota survey of corn farmers may provide further answers.

Corn farmers: How do you manage nitrogen?

A University of Minnesota Extension educator asks farmers to complete a brief survey on nitrogen use and best management practices.

University of Minnesota Extension educator Terry Hurley is interested in learning how corn farmers across the state manage their nitrogen use.

The farm management specialist is asking corn farmers to complete an online survey that may shed some light on why farmers voluntarily adopt best management practices. Hurley conducts research on profitability and risk of new technology adoption, and found that insecticide and herbicide use, for example, are influenced by range of factors in addition to profitability.

“I have not yet explored the extent to which nutrient management decisions are affected by these types of nonmonetary factors,” Hurley says. “So, I do not know the extent to which these types of factors may encourage or create obstacles for BMP adoption.”

He hopes the survey will provide some insight.

“Knowing what these factors are will help in designing educational and incentive programs for increasing BMP adoption,” he says. If survey results indicate certain factors play a role in farmers’ nitrogen management decisions other than profitability, he will work with Extension agronomists to incorporate this information into their educational programs.

Hurley also is interested in learning which farmers are using various nitrogen management practices to improve water quality by reducing nitrogen runoff and leaching.

If the results raise additional questions, he hopes to use the information to support future research grant requests.

This project is being funded by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Farmers who volunteer to participate in the survey will remain anonymous. Only aggregate summaries of responses will be made public.

The deadline to complete the survey is Sept. 29.

To take the survey online, visit the  U-M Nitrogen Management Survey webpage.

Questions? Contact Hurley at 612-625-1238 or




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