Get Smart with Nitrogen Smart Workshops


Another round of Nitrogen Smart Workshops is approaching. Last winter,several Nitrogen Smart Workshops were held by University of Minnesota Extension in partnership with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center (MAWRC). The Nitrogen Smart curriculum was developed to increase the understanding of nitrogen fundamentals, improving productivity while reducing environmental impacts.

Brad Carlson, Extension educator, is leading the workshops. He states: “We start with the nitrogen cycle, and it seems sort of basic. Most farmers and people that deal with fertilizer think they know something about the nitrogen cycle and probably do. But what we try to do is contextualize it into how it actually effects decisions made for nitrogen management.” He also indicates that if growers want to maintain the flexibility of managing nitrogen from one site to the next without regulation, they are responsible for making science-based decisions. He went on to state: “So we go through the science of how nitrogen behaves for the sake of adapting that management. So Nitrogen Smart tries to teach that, as well as go through a lot of the management recommendations that we have.”

The core mission of MAWRC is to assist Minnesota farmers in addressing water quality concerns by providing a research and educational foundation and continuously seeking areas of improvement in farming practices. The upcoming Nitrogen Smart Workshops fit into this core mission and will expand on the initial round of workshops. The objective of these workshops is to increase understanding of the nitrogen fundamentals. This will help farmers make the best possible nitrogen decisions, improving productivity and profitability as well as improving water quality. The workshops will provide participants with a solid understanding of the fundamental tools for maximizing return on nitrogen investment while minimizing nitrogen losses. The upcoming Nitrogen Smart workshops deliver high-quality, research-based education focused on:

  • Sources of nitrogen for crops
  • How nitrogen is lost from soil and how you can reduce losses
  • How to manage nitrogen in tile drained fields
  • Implications of Minnesota’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy and Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan
  • Practices to refine nitrogen management


Nitrogen Smart Workshop Dates and Locations - Pre-registration is not required and there is no registration fee

Slayton12/12/20161:00PM-4:00PM4-H Building, Murray County Fairgrounds, 3048 S. Broadway Avenue
Maynard12/13/20161:00PM-4:00PMMaynard Event Center, 341 Cynthia Street
New Ulm12/14/20169:00AM-12:00PMBest Western, 2101 S. Broadway
Morris12/15/20161:00PM-4:00PMAgCountry Room, U of M West Central Research and Outreach Center, 46352 State Highway 329
Moorhead12/16/20169:00AM-12:00PMHjemkomst Center, 202 1st Avenue N
Hutchinson12/19/20161:00PM-4:00PMMcLeod County Extension Office, 840 Century Avenue SW
St. Charles12/21/20169:00AM-12:00PMSt. Charles City Hall, 830 Whitewater Avenue
Faribault12/22/20169:00AM-12:00PMRice County 4-H Building, 1900 Fairgrounds Drive
Glenwood*1/2/20171:00PM-4:00PMLakeside Steak & Chop House, 180 S. Lakeside Drive
Staples*1/4/20171:00PM-4:00PMCentral Lakes College, 1800 Airport Road
Hastings*1/6/20171:00PM-4:00PMPleasant Hill Library, 1490 S. Frontage Road
*meetings tailored for irrigators

For more information on Nitrogen Smart visit, or contact Brad Carlson at or 507-389-6745.

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