Throughout August, the farming community submitted comments to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) on the latest draft of the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, which would limit fertilizer application in vulnerable groundwater areas and implement a process for mitigation where high concentrations of nitrates are found in groundwater.
By the end of the comment period, more than 800 total comments were submitted to MDA on the current draft of the rule. Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) farmer leaders submitted comments on behalf of the organization, which you can view here.
After MDA reviews and incorporates comments, the official draft rule is expected to be released this winter. This will be followed by an additional comment period where the public will have another opportunity to provide feedback before the rule is finalized and released. MDA expects the final rule to go into effect in fall 2018.
To emphasize the urgent need for farmers to submit comments, newspapers throughout Greater Minnesota included an op-ed by MCGA President Harold Wolle in August. In addition, Wolle conducted numerous radio interviews with ag radio stations around the state, urging farmers to comment on the rule. MCGA also sent a postcard to more than 24,000 Minnesota corn farmers encouraging them to learn more about the rule through the MCGA website and to submit comments.
For additional information on the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule including frequently asked questions, details on the current mitigation strategy and important updates on the process, visit mncorn.org/NitrogenRule.