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Revision of the State’s Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan


Fri, Jan 18th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

What is the “Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan”?

The original NFMP was developed by the Nitrogen Fertilizer Task Force as directed by the 1989 Comprehensive Groundwater Protection Act. The primary goal of the Plan is to prevent degradation of Minnesota’s water resources by efficiently managing nitrogen inputs to maintain farm profitability. The key prevention component is the promotion and adoption of voluntary BMPs. The Plan, as defined in statute, must also include appropriate responses to the detection of inorganic N from fertilizer sources including regulatory actions. The Plan is guided by a matrix of interactions between groundwater nitrate conditions and if producers are adopting the BMPs.

Why is MDA conducting the revision process?

The Plan was never fully implemented due to funding issues. However over the past twenty years, many of the general concepts were introduced and required tools were developed (such as FANMAP, field demonstrations, and low cost nitrate testing clinics) in a small number of Source Water Protection Areas. Many of these activities were implemented with soft money grants. MDA felt the Plan needed revisions to reflect the advancements and knowledge gained through these early efforts. With the recent financial assistance from the Clean Water Amendment and the growing environmental concerns of nitrate contamination in groundwater supplies, MDA strongly advises implementing the Plan to the fullest capacity possible.

Who is Involved?

The Committee includes local units of government (Dakota, Fillmore, and Rock Counties), the University of Minnesota (Dept. of Soil, Water and Climate), various Farm Groups (Ag Water Resources Center, Corn Growers, Potato Growers, Irrigators, MN Crop Production Retailers, and Independent Crop Consultants), Environmental Groups (The Freshwater Society and the Nature Conservancy), and State Agencies (Health, Natural Resources, Board of Water and Soil Resources, Pollution Control and Ag).

Timeframe for the revision process?

The Committee first started meeting in early 2011. MDA intends to have a draft ready for public comment in late winter (2012-13). The Committee has been meeting monthly for the last 22 months.

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