The goal of the state is to prevent nitrate from entering groundwater. Once groundwater is contaminated, it is expensive and challenging to address. Prevention will be accomplished by promoting best management practices (BMPs). The MDA provides information about how BMP use will prevent and minimize nitrate pollution.
Prevention activities are diverse and ongoing. The MDA collaborates with partners to offer water planning assistance to integrate prevention activities into state and local plans, such as the following:
- Local Water Management Plans
- Wellhead Protection Plans
- Groundwater Management Area Plans
- Surface Water Protection Plans (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy)
- Nutrient Reduction Strategy
In addition to promoting the BMPs, the MDA also encourages that farmers consider the use of cover crops, forage crops and other alternatives on their vulnerable fields. The MDA calls these types of practices Alternative Management Tools.
The MDA has created a Nitrogen Fertilizer Education and Promotion Team to coordinate prevention programs between government, university, the agricultural industry, and agricultural organizations and others.