June 7, 2017

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking public review and comment of a draft proposal for regulating the use of nitrogen fertilizer in Minnesota. The purpose of the proposed Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule is to minimize the potential for nitrate-nitrogen contamination from fertilizer in the state's groundwater and drinking water. Nitrate is one of the most common contaminants in Minnesota's groundwater and elevated levels of nitrate in drinking water can pose serious health concerns for humans.

The MDA is seeking public input and will be holding five public listening sessions throughout the state to discuss the proposed Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule at which written comments can be submitted. The draft rule can be viewed online at www.mda.state.mn.us/nfr.

All comments regarding the proposed rule must be submitted in writing. After consideration of comments received, the MDA expects to publish the final draft of the rule in the fall of 2017. The rule is expected to be adopted in the fall of 2018.

The draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule is based on the Minnesota Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan (NFMP) which recommends steps for minimizing impacts of nitrogen fertilizer on groundwater and emphasizes involving the local community in developing local solutions.

The NFMP went through an extensive development process with input provided by farmers, crop advisors, and others in the agricultural community.

Listening sessions on the draft rule will be held at the following locations:

Location Date Time
Marshall Public Library
201 C Street, Marshall, MN 56258 
Thurs. June 22 5:00 pm
Chatfield Center for the Arts 
405 Main Street, Chatfield, MN 55932
Wed. June 28 6:00 pm
University of MN Extension Office 
4100 220th St W., Farmington, MN 55024
Thurs. June 29 2:00 pm
St. Cloud:
Great River Regional Library 
1300 W. Saint Germain Street, St. Cloud, MN 56301
Thurs. July 6 3:00 pm
Robertson Theatre, Wadena-Deer Creek High School 
600 Colfax Ave. SW, Wadena, MN 56482
Tues. July 11 6:00 pm

Written comments on the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule should be submitted by Friday August 11, 2017 via mail or email to:

Larry Gunderson 
Fertilizer Technical Unit Supervisor 
Minnesota Department of Agriculture

625 Robert Street North 
St. Paul, MN, 55155-2538


All comments should, but are not required to, include a contact name, phone number and/or email address to provide for follow-up discussion on specific comments.

To stay up to date on the rule writing process, please visit: www.mda.state.mn.us/nfr.


Media Contact 
Margaret Hart, Communications Director