History

The 1971 Montana legislature approved an assessment on commercial fertilizers to provide funding for soil fertility and soil management education and research programs in Montana. Mont. Code Ann § 80-10-103-106 outlines assessment, allocation, educational and experimental programs and meetings and functions of the advisory committee. The intent is to help develop the most accurate information possible concerning fertilizer use and soil management, in an effort to maximize agricultural profits and protect the environmental quality across Montana's many diverse soils and climatic conditions. The Act provides an advisory committee of seven members, jointly appointed by the directors of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and the Montana State University Extension, who also provide administrative and program support. Five committee members must be involved in agriculture and use fertilizer and two members must represent the fertilizer industry. Each member serves a five-year term. The Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture serves as an ex-officio member. MSU scientists with MSU Extension and the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station have a responsibility for developing and implementing the education and research programs.   

 Project Timeline

  • Call for proposals and reports in November.
  • Proposals and 3 minute proposal videos are due January 15, 2022.  
  • Funding for the following fiscal year is reviewed in February (based on committee availability) by the MFAC committee (which has a rotating membership).
  • Reports from current fiscal year are due each January 15th, with presentations of proposals and reports expected at the MFAC committee meeting on the MSU campus.  

Areas of Research

All areas of research related to the objectives of MFAC are welcome. In FY23 the committee would like to encourage proposals for research in these priority areas:

  • Nutrients related to oilseeds such as camelina and hemp
  • Fertilizer research on forages
  • Finding crops or practices to increase efficiency of fertilizer inputs
  • Improving relative feed value of forages for cattle

 

In 2022, participants will be asked to participate in research panels in lieu of an oral report on results from the previous year’s funding. Panels will be conducted on 8 February 2022 and you will be contacted with a request to participate if you were a previous grantee. Written reports are still required. 

For research proposals, grantees should record a short video or narrated powerpoint summarizing their proposal for the committee. The video should be less than three minutes and will be available during the committee meeting in case the committee has questions.  Panels will be conducted on 9 February at 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM or until completed

Previously Funded Projects 

Information about previously funded projects, including principal investigators, project titles, and funding amount.

Fertilizer Facts 

Fertilizer Facts are 2-3 page fact sheets that summarize methods and results of many of the MFAC-funded projects research projects. 

MSU Extension Soil Fertility Program

The Soil Fertility/Nutrient Management program at MSU focuses on the processes that affect nutrient cycling so that they can be managed more sustainably.  

Fertilizer Advisory Committee Members (2021)

The advisory committee meets a minimum of once each year with the *MSU Directors (as ex-officio members) and program participants to: (1) review the educational and research programs financed by this Act, (2) recommend needed programs and/or program adjustments and (3) report to the Montana House and/or, Senate Agriculture Committees when requested.  The Directors of the MSU Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station have financial responsibility and jointly appoint committee members. 

Mr. Courtney Herzog

Rapelje, MT 
Term expires: December 31, 2024

Mr. Mikel Erickson

Broadview, MT 
Term expires: December, 2022

Mr. Chris Larson

Big Sandy, MT 
Term expires: December, 2021 

Mr. Brad Weaver 

Big Sandy, MT 
Term expires: January 31, 2021

Mr. Steve Sheffels

Great Falls, MT 
Term expires: December 31, 2023

Mr. Russ Miner

Great Falls, MT
Term expires: December 31, 2025

Mr. Ryan Lammers

Havre, MT
Term expires: January 31, 2021

*Mr. Ryan Solberg 

Commodities Section Program Manager
Montana Department of Agriculture 
Helena, MT

*Dr. Mary Burrows

Assoc. Dir. Montana Agricultural Experiment Station & Professor
Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology
Montana State University  

*Dr. Sreekala Bajwa

VP/Dean College of Agriculture and Agriculture Experiment Station
Montana State University  

*Dr. Cody Stone

Director, MSU Extension Service
Montana State University  

*Mr. Larry Brence 

MSU Extension
Eastern Regional Dept. Head
Miles City, MT