The Minnesota Department of Agriculture recently released a draft revision of the state's Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan for public comment.
The NFMP is the state's blueprint for prevention or minimization of the impacts of nitrogen fertilizer on groundwater.
The revisions were based on input from the committee with consideration for past NFMP implementation experience, input from related programs, increased knowledge about occurrences of elevated nitrate in groundwater, and advances in agricultural technology and management practices.
The revised NFMP includes the following:
-An emphasis on preventing groundwater contamination by promoting fertilizer Best Management Practices and other beneficial practices
-Extensive testing of private wells in areas with row crop agriculture and vulnerable groundwater
-A new phased approach to assessing and prioritizing areas with nitrate contamination in groundwater, with guidance for determining each phase
-An emphasis on involving local farmers and communities in problem solving for local groundwater concerns
-Consideration of alternative land management and cropping practices in highly vulnerable areas
MDA is hosting a series of public listening sessions across the state during the month of September.
Preliminary locations, dates and times are:
-Thursday, September 5, 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Marshall Public Library, 201 C Street, Marshall
-Monday, September 16, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, University of Minnesota Crookston Student Center Bede Ballroom, 2900 University Ave, Crookston
-Tuesday September 17, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Wadena - Deer Creek High School Robertson Theatre, 600 Colfax Ave. SW, Wadena
-Wednesday September 18, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Great River Regional Library, 1300 W. St. Germain St, St. Cloud
-Monday, September 23, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center, 2900 19th Street NW Rochester
-Wednesday September 25, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Roseville Public Library Community Program Room, 2180 North Hamline Ave, Roseville
Addition information is available at the MDA website.
The public comment period ends November 1.