About SPRF

The Sand Plain Research Farm (SPRF) provides a unique coarse textured-soil site for pursuing research on both irrigated and non-irrigated crops as well as the critical pest and land-management challenges that producers face throughout the region. SPRF is the primary site for the University of Minnesota’s irrigation research as well as a valuable site for UMN faculty to bring students for hands-on learning opportunities. 

The SPRF property is leased from and in cooperation with Xcel Energy beginning in 1976 with the primary mission to conduct research on agronomic and horticultural crops under both irrigated and non-irrigated conditions. In 2017 Xcel Energy notified the University of their intent to develop that property and to help relocate the SPRF to a new parcel between its two power plants. In 2020, all research activity at the old site was concluded and had transitioned to its current location.  

We are one of 10 unique Research and Outreach Centers throughout Minnesota within the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). Our work enhances the quality of agricultural production, human health, renewable energy and the environment, and disseminates the benefits of this research to the public.