The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has issued an updated map that will help farmers across the state comply with the Groundwater Protection Rule. The rule restricts fall application of nitrogen fertilizer in areas vulnerable to groundwater contamination, and it outlines steps to reduce the severity of contamination in areas where nitrate is already elevated in public water supply wells.
The MDA has made changes to the Fall Nitrogen Fertilizer Application Restrictions Map which is accessible on the MDA website. Three Drinking Water Supply Management Areas (DWSMAs) were removed from the map, and none were added. Two of the DWSMAs were found to have non-agricultural sources of nitrate, while the third was removed after further sampling data indicated the nitrate levels were below the threshold for inclusion. Additional information on the fall application restrictions and exceptions to the restrictions can be found on the MDA’s website.
The restriction of fall application of nitrogen fertilizer on these acres will begin September 1, 2024. Farmers are encouraged to check the new map prior to fall 2024 to determine if their fields are subject to these restrictions.
For more information on the Groundwater Protection Rule visit www.mda.state.mn.us/nfr.
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications