The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has revised the Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan (NFMP). First developed in 1990, the NFMP is the state’s blueprint for prevention or minimization of the impacts of nitrogen fertilizer on groundwater. This revision process updated the plan to reflect current water protection activities and integrate new scientific information about groundwater protection. Also the revision process better aligned the plan with current water resource programs.

The MDA began the revision process in 2010. The MDA convened a multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee (18 members), hosted monthly meetings and conducted a detailed analysis of issues related to nitrate in groundwater. Revisions were based primarily on input from the Advisory 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.

A draft revision of the NFMP was released for public review and comment on August 2, 2013 and written comments were accepted through November 1, 2013. During that time, the MDA hosted six public listening sessions to provide an overview of the draft revised NFMP and to obtain feedback. The sessions were held in Crookston, Marshall, Rochester, Roseville, Saint Cloud and Wadena. A total of 159 people attended these sessions. The MDA presented information on the NFMP background, structure and approach. Citizens asked questions and provided comments on the NFMP both verbally and on a Public Comment Form. 

The MDA received 32 formal responses. The MDA compiled all written and verbal comments into the following document:

The MDA has carefully reviewed all public comments and developed the following two response documents:

The revised NFMP was finalized in March 2015.