University of Minnesota Extension has been holding Nitrogen Smart seminars across Minnesota to help farmers become more effective with their use of nitrogen. Supported by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the seminars have been attended by more than 600 people in its first two years, and the feedback suggests it has been well worth their time.
At each seminar, led by Extension Educator Brad Carlson, farmers learn about the latest data and research behind nitrogen application practices that not only reduce environmental impact, but also costs for the farmer.
After attending Nitrogen Smart, nearly 70 percent of farmers changed their nitrogen rate. The average reduction in nitrogen application as a result of the seminars was 33 pounds/acre and 25 pounds/acre in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
And as expected, the cost savings have been significant.
Attendees lowered their average fertilizer costs by $7,181 in 2016 and $4,100 in 2017 from improved nitrogen management practices shared during the seminars. And farmers who followed guidance to move nitrogen application from the fall to spring had an average positive impact of $15,744 in 2017 based on published yield improvements.
The Nitrogen Smart seminars, which are free to attend, will again be held in 2018, with dates to be determined shortly after the New Year. Carlson said to also be on the lookout for a taped version of the seminar that farmers can access from home in the first quarter of 2018. You can also learn more about the program in a recent segment by Linder Media below: