New Nitrate Rule Will Affect Local Farmers

By Jill Fennema –

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has released the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, which is being implemented to minimize potential sources of nitrate pollution in the state’s groundwater and as part of the Minnesota Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan. Through Aug. 25, the public could submit comments on the draft rule.

The rule has two parts. The first part relates to fertilizer application and the second part to farming practices to help mitigate nitrate in groundwater.

If a farm is located in a vulnerable groundwater area, nitrogen fertilizer application in the fall and on frozen soils will be restricted. If a farm is located in an area that has high concentrations of nitrate in groundwater, farmers will be required to follow a process for mitigation that includes the use of nitrogen fertilizer best management practices (BMPs) and alternative practices.

This nitrogen fertilizer rule is part of the state’s strategy for preventing contamination and lowering elevated levels of nitrate in groundwater. The MDA uses nitrate data from public and private drinking wells to evaluate pollution frequency and concentration trends.

For the complete article, please see the August 30th edition of the Edgerton Enterprise. If you do not currently receive the Enterprise, CLICK HERE for information on how to subscribe!