MDA elaborates on plan for nitrate rules

Early this month, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture announced that it planned to seek state regulations barring fall applications of nitrogen fertilizer in certain areas of the state. The announcement stemmed from a revised Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan, released in draft form in August 2013. Recent testing of private wells in several counties that found higher-than-expected concentrations of nitrates. Now the department has published a frequently-asked-questions fact sheet elaborating on its plans. The fact sheet, which includes a map of regions where groundwater is particularly sensitive to contamination from fertilizer applications, says it may take two years to complete writing the proposed rules.