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University of Minnesota Extension

Advanced Nitrogen Smart: Manure management

Livestock manures have been used as a crop fertilizer source for thousands of years. It continues to be a valuable source of crop nutrients, even with the advent of synthetic fertilizers. Because its nutrient content and availability can vary widely, it's important to develop a management plan that will optimize crop productivity while protecting water quality.

Topics include:

  • Benefits and challenges of using manure in crop production
  • What determines nutrient content in manure
  • How manure storage and handling affect nutrient availability
  • Importance of manure sampling and testing
  • How application methods and timing affect nitrogen loss 
  • Practices to optimize manure use and minimize nitrogen losses 

Please note: This course is self-paced. You may register at any point and complete the coursework when it is convenient for you.


Thanks to the generous support of the Minnesota Corn Growers, there is no charge for the Nitrogen Smart course.

How the online course works

This is a self-paced course.  If you need to leave the course before you finish, you may come back anytime. Your progress is automatically saved and you should return where you left off. 

Online enrollment instructions

  1. When you click on the "Enroll in Nitrogen Smart" button below, you will go to the enrollment page. Pick the Manure section and select "Add to cart." Proceed to "Checkout."
  2. After you have clicked "Checkout," you will either log in or create a new University of Minnesota guest account to access the course. Note that your email address will be used as your UMN "internet ID" for this course.  
    Please also note that University passwords must be 16 (!) characters long. We recommend using a phrase you can remember.
  3. After creating your course log in information, you will be directed back to the enrollment checkout process. Fill in only the required information as indicated by an asterisk (*) and "Continue checkout."
  4. You're now enrolled in the course! You will receive a confirmation email with a link to access the course.

Link to course page

The Nitrogen Smart workshops are also available at several locations around the state. Visit the course page for more information.

Course page

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