Plant Food

MDA Draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule – MCPR Members Must Get Involved and Comment by August 25th!

The MDA is Seeking Public Input on Draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking public review and comment on a draft proposal for regulating the use of nitrogen fertilizer in Minnesota.  MDA states that the purpose of the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule is to minimize the potential for nitrate-nitrogen contamination from fertilizer in the state's groundwater and drinking water.  They report that 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.

MCPR and our members are very, very concerned about the impact of this proposal. Read the MDA info on their web page, get involved and COMMENT to the MDA by August 26, 2017!

The MDA is seeking public input and held listening sessions throughout the state to discuss the proposed Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule at which time written comments can be submitted. The draft rule can be viewed online.  

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 which recommends steps for minimizing impacts of nitrogen fertilizer on groundwater and emphasizes involving the local community in developing local solutions.

The MDA indicates the NFMP went through an extensive development process with input provided by farmers, crop advisors, and others in the agricultural community. However, Part 1 of the proposed rule was not reviewed with MCPR or any of us in  agriculture so we have major concerns about that section of the proposed rule.  LEARN MORE.  

Written comments on the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule should be submitted by August 25, 2017 via mail or email to:
Larry Gunderson
Fertilizer Technical Unit Supervisor
Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Email Address:
Mailing Address
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.  Stay up to date on the rule writing process.


Draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule

Drinking Water Supply Map

Alternative management tools to protect groundwater quality from nitrate contamination

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Township Testing Program

Nitrogen Management Fertilizer Plan Fact Sheet

Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule Frequently Asked Questions

Nitrate Testing for Private Wells

The Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC)

  • Read a legislative report which summarizes AFREC’s history and many of the great achievements made by this organization researching, educating, and promoting fertility use in modern Minnesota agriculture.

Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC)

In 2007, the Minnesota Legislature established the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Program for the purpose of directing fertilizer research and outreach programs. The enabling legislation establishing the governing Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC) is Minnesota Statutes 18C.70 and 18C.71. The Minnesota Legislature established the funding mechanisms by raising the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) fertilizer tonnage fees from 30 cents/ton to 70 cents/ton starting July 1, 2009. Each year MDA announces a Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects using funds ($800,000, the upper annual limit set by the legislature) generated by fertilizer sales.

Information in Response to the Texas Facility Incident from The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).

Liquid Bulk Fertilizer Storage Issue

MCPR members may have questions about recent legislative changes related to customers storing on their farm liquid bulk fertilizer. MCPR is providing this statement that will give guidance reflecting the recently passed legislation and may suffice until the MDA provides us with a guidance document with more details. “The 2007 legislature amended “Sec. 28. Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 18C.305, by adding a subdivision to read: Subd. 3. Exemption. A permit and safeguard is not required for agricultural commodity producers who store, on their own property, for their own use, no more than 6,000 gallons of liquid commercial fertilizer.” Therefore, MCPR members should understand that a permit is not required and bulk fertilizer containment rules do not apply to agricultural commodity producers who store on their own property for their own use no more than 6,000 gallons of liquid commercial fertilizer. As always, use discretion related to the storage containers you fill.

Fluid Fertilizer Foundation

Founded in 1982, the Foundation represents the combined efforts of fertilizer dealers, equipment manufacturers, suppliers of allied products, agricultural chemical producers, commercial laboratories and basic producers of plant nutrients to provide research and educational funding for continued improvement in the application and efficiency of fluid fertilizers in all programs.

MDA fertilizer/pesticide bulk storage permitting requirements