Safe drinking water is a concern for all Minnesotans. Nitrate is one of the most common ground water pollutants found in groundwater. Drinking water high in nitrate can cause serious health effects in infants and pregnant women.

The MDA is responsible for nitrogen fertilizer use and management. The Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan lays out an approach to prevent and respond to nitrate pollution in groundwater from nitrogen fertilizer. The original Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan was developed in 1990. The Plan went through a revision process from 2010 to 2014. The revised Plan includes new scientific information about groundwater protection and is better aligned with current water resource programs and activities.

The Plan:

  • Includes activities to protect private and public wells
  • Involves communities and local farmers in problem solving
  • Includes testing nitrate levels in private wells
  • Emphasizes education on the nitrogen best management practices (BMPs)
  • Offers other voluntary options beyond the BMPs
  • Includes regulatory measures