Advanced Nitrogen Smart

University of Minnesota/Brad Carlson

This proposal is to fund “Advanced Nitrogen Smart – A Deep Dive Into the 4Rs.” This will be the second Advanced Nitrogen Smart program topic, and joins “Manure Management” as options for those that have already attended the base session. Costs include staff time and travel to prepare a 2.5 – 3 hour PowerPoint and accompanying educational materials. The program will be delivered during the 2020 winter meeting season and on into the future.
Background and Goal Statement(s):
The Nitrogen Smart program has been a success with documented outcomes showing reductions in unnecessary N fertilizer applications and increased profits due to changes in application practices. The program offers “certification,” although it has no legal status. This certification is good for three years. The program is now entering its fourth year in 2019, meaning first group of attendees will need to recertify. Written evaluations of the program show that approximately 89% of attendees state they will maintain their certification status when it expires. Those recertifying can choose to attend the original base session, review the materials on-line, or attend an Advanced course.
Input over the past few years indicates a desire on the part of the audience to go further with respect to information and understanding of the 4Rs (fertilizer form, application rate, application timing, and location). The first Advanced Nitrogen Smart section on Manure Management was developed last year. Delivering more detailed and technical information on the basics of fertilizer management is the next logical topic to address.

Information covered will include: addressing regional and soil differences and how they affect management decisions; transformations of different fertilizers in the soil based on conditions; how the climate affects management; situations where more or less fertilizer is required, and a host of related topics. There is relevant research data for much of this, but in many instances knowledge of basic science as it relates to fertilizer will need to be engaged in order to determine how to adapt practices based on conditions. This will be explored through presentation and interaction and discussion with the attendees.