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Draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule to Impact NW MN

Draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule to Impact NW MN

Dear NW MN Farmers,

The draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule being proposed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will impact farmers in Northwest Minnesota. Much of the beach ridge region is being listed as vulnerable groundwater areas. (See the a portion of the rule below.)

You are encouraged to attend the one listening Session being held in Northwest Minnesota this Wednesday in McIntosh, MN.

Listening/Comment Session – Northwest Minnesota

MDA Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule

When: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – 4:00 p.m.

Where: McIntosh Community Center

(115 Broadway NW, McIntosh, MN 56556)

Other Meeting locations can be found at:

Northwest Minnesota farmers are encouraged to attend this meeting.

More details on the rule can be found at:


Hope to see you at the Wednesday meeting.


Dave Torgerson

MN Wheat Growers

2600 Wheat Drive

Red Lake Falls, MN 56750



PART 1: Use of nitrogen fertilizer in vulnerable groundwater areas will be restricted in the fall and on frozen soils.


Vulnerable Groundwater Areas

The application of nitrogen fertilizer in the fall or on frozen soils will be restricted in areas with vulnerable groundwater. An area with vulnerable groundwater is an area where nitrate can move easily through soil and into groundwater. The criteria used to determine vulnerability includes the saturated hydraulic conductivity of a soil (Ksat>10 micrometers/second, roughly 1.4 inches/hour), near-surface bedrock and karst geology. Ksat is a physical property of the soil and is widely used by soil scientists to describe the soil’s capacity to transmit water. Because Part 1 of the Rule is based on soils and geology, the area covered by the Rule is not subject to change over time. A field in a vulnerable groundwater area will always be subject to Part 1 of the Rule.  The map below shows where the Rule may apply. Areas in brown are considered the most vulnerable to pollution.

Soils information is not yet available for portions of Lake and Pine counties.

Vulnerable groundwater areas will be determined section by section

In areas where more than 50% of the section has vulnerable groundwater, fall and frozen soils application will no be allowed in the entire section.