UMN Extension offering two sessions on fertilizer management in Austin

University of Minnesota Extension is offering two educational sessions Wednesday in Austin for agricultural producers to learn fundamentals of applying nitrogen fertilizer in fields.

“Nitrogen Smart” trainings will be offered at Austin’s Holiday Inn Conference Center, 1701 Fourth St. N.W, to present ways for farmers to maximize economic return on nitrogen investments while minimizing nitrogen losses.

Led by Extension educator Brad Carlson, the trainings are free and open to the public (no pre-registration). Minnesota Corn Growers is funding the trainings hosted by the Minnesota Agriculture Water Resource Center at various Minnesota locations through March.

The first session “Nitrogen Smart: Fundamentals” will run from 9 a.m. to noon, offering a “Nitrogen Smart” certification that is valid for three years after participants complete the course. The session will provide high-quality, research-based education on the following topics:

  • Sources of nitrogen (N) for crops
  • How nitrogen is lost from soil and how you can reduce losses
  • How to manage nitrogen in drainage systems
  • What the Nutrient Reduction Strategy and Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan mean for Minnesota producers
  • Practices to refine nitrogen management, including split applications, alternative N fertilizers, soil and tissue testing and N models

An “Advanced Nitrogen Smart” session will follow from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for returning participants or new participants who attended Wednesday morning’s “Fundamentals” course.

“Nitrogen Smart” also is available as an online course. This new, interactive training program creates a unique experience for producers based on their own operation and region.

Fertilizer management has been an ongoing discussion as efforts continue to work toward finding opportunities for farmers to increase their margins, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. Minnesota has sensitive groundwater areas that also would benefit from a reduction in nitrate filtering into local well water.

For more information, visit the Extension’s web resources:



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Cedar River Watershed District

Cedar River Watershed District

Formed in 2007, CRWD works to reduce flooding and improve water quality on the Cedar River State Water Trail and its tributaries in southern Minnesota.