Byron project

Byron Project

Project Mission

Design and execute a land management plan that fosters soil health and provides adaptive management options that can be replicated to ultimately balance financial and environmental sustainability.


Hand holding worm in healthy earth in hand - close-up
  1. Maintain healthy and balanced ecosystem.
  2. Utilize best management practices.
  3. Build a replicable model for agronomic sustainability.
  4. Monitor groundwater flow and quality.
  5. Study changes in quality of soil pore water under various cropping rotations.

Potential for nitrate impact to groundwater is of concern due to the coarse-textured soils and shallow ground water tables, to address this, RDO and CLC will be implementing

Best Management Practices

  • Innovative cropping practices to reduce nitrate loss
  • Growing low nitrogen demanding crops
  • Following each crop with a cover crop to capture and hold nitrogen for following season.
  • Monitoring and adaptive management
  • Utilizing U of M nitrogen guidelines
  • Split nitrogen applications
  • Incorporation of nitrogen fertilizers

Related Components:

  • Progressive soil health management
  • Sophisticated irrigation management

Alternative Management Tools (AMTs)

  • Cover crops
  • Grazing
  • Extended rotation including low nitrogen demanding crops

Team Members

Central Lakes College (Primary Site Operators)
Cory Detloff, Director of Ag & Energy Center
Todd Pollema, Ag & Energy Center Farm Manager
Noah Boelter, Ag & Energy Center Research Plot Coordinator

RDO (Site owners)
Jake Jacobson, Seed Farm Manager
Wayne Warmbold, Regional Manager
Nick David, Regional Agronomist
Keith McGovern, CEO

Supporting Collaborators

MN Department of Agriculture
Ryan Perish, Soil Scientist
Luke Stuewe, Soil Scientist
Jeppe Kjaersgaard, Research Scientist

Sustainable Farming Association
Kent Solberg, Cover Crop & Grazing Specialist

Daniel Whitney, Principal Hydrogeologist
Kristi Anderson, Project Hydrogeologis

Dan Vogt, Midwest Machinery
Mike Sams, Local Cattle Owner