Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule could have enormous impact

A south-central Minnesota farmer says a rule proposed by the state Department of Agriculture (MDA) to limit the use of nitrogen could have an enormous impact.

“I’ve heard some farmers say this could be the biggest thing in Minnesota agriculture in 30 years, so we need to be at the table.  And I’ve said it before, if you’re not at the table, you’re usually on the menu.  So folks, let’s please show up.”

That’s Martin County farmer Lawrence Sukalski talking about the Nitrogen Fertilizer Draft Rule and a series of meetings planned by the Department of Ag, which recently announced it will extend the comment period for the proposal through August 25th.

MDA says the purpose of the rule is to minimize the potential for nitrate contamination from fertilizer in Minnesota’s groundwater and drinking water.

Sukalski tells Brownfield the way the state monitors wells is flawed and agriculture has been unfairly targeted.

“These wells could have construction problems, and we really should have dedicated monitoring wells if we’re going to try to influence these rules and laws.  But really it comes right down to (potentially) if you have a well or two around you with nitrates in it, you may not be able to apply fall N.”

In addition to public listening sessions hosted by MDA the last week of July, the Minnesota Soybean Growers have scheduled a Nitrogen Fertilizer Draft Rule meeting in Fairmont July 25th.

That meeting will be at the Holiday Inn, 1201 Torgerson Drive, from 2 to 4 pm.










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