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A New Chapter: Sand Plain Research Farm

April 15, 2024

On April 5, the U of M's Sand Plan Research Farm (SPRF) near Monticello hosted supporters for a ribbon cutting ceremony at their new building. The SPRF is leased from and in cooperation with Xcel Energy with the primary mission to conduct research on agronomic and horticultural crops under both irrigated and non-irrigated conditions.

Irrigation Field Day August 10, 2023

June 20, 2023

University of Minnesota Extension invites you to a free field day at the Sand Plain Research Farm (SPRF) in Big Lake on Thursday, August 10th from 4pm to 7pm. The field day will highlight U of M research on advanced irrigation and nutrient management practices, and includes a complimentary dinner.

RSVPs are requested and can be found at

Home Field Advantage

November 1, 2022

East African immigrant farmers grow culturally relevant crops in Minnesota; U of M researchers share agricultural management expertise.

U of MN Releases ‘MN-Rothsay’ Wheat

June 22, 2022

The University of Minnesota has released a new hard red spring wheat variety called ‘MN-Rothsay.’ MN-Rothsay features a good combination of yield, protein, and disease resistance and exceptional straw strength.

2021 University of Minnesota variety crop trial results available now

November 30, 2021

The Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) have published the 2021 Minnesota Field Crop Trials. Visit to see variety trials for 10 different Minnesota crops.

Learn about SPRF irrigation & nutrient management research

September 1, 2020

Since we weren't able to host a traditional field day in 2020, a virtual field day highlighted ongoing research projects at the SPRF. Researchers provided overviews of research projects that are improving soil health, irrigation and nutrient management techniques to sustain profitable crop production and protect water quality. Watch the Irrigation & Nutrient Management Virtual Field Day:

Minnesota farmers tap technology to conserve water in drought

Vasu Sharma's precision irrigation research here at the SPRF is featured in this MPR News article Minnesota farmers tap technology to conserve water in drought.

Vasudha Sharma, an irrigation specialist in the CFANS Department of Soil, Water and Climate, is studying the optimum rates to apply water and nitrogen to improve crop production and reduce nitrate leaching here at the SPRF. She is also evaluating different types of sensors, comparing low-cost varieties with newer electronic models that do a better job of measuring water in the soil.