It is vitally important that the voices of Minnesota farmers are heard regarding the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) previously submitted comments regarding an earlier draft of the proposed rule. And while many of the issues that we identified have been improved, there are several issues regarding the proposed rule that could create significant issues for farmers in the future.
Accordingly, MCGA encourages all of its members to participate in the rulemaking process. You can do this either by showing up to and speaking at one of the public hearings or submitting written comments to the administrative law judge presiding over the rulemaking process.
Specifically, we encourage farmers to provide testimony, comments, or other information regarding the following topics:
- The steps that you have taken to voluntarily implement the existing nitrogen fertilizer best management practices or other practices (such as precision agriculture techniques) that you have implemented on your farm to improve your use of nitrogen fertilizer. This topic may include unique challenges that you have faced in implementing these practices on your farm, challenges that face other farmers in your area, and benefits that you have observed from these changes.
- The variability of farming practices from one place to another and the importance of maintaining local control to ensure that fertilizer practices and requirements are appropriate for the local area (as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach) and are practical for farmers to implement. In particular, farmers need to emphasize the importance of local participation through the local advisory teams and the need for these teams to be comprised primarily of local farmers and crop consultants to ensure that the required practices are appropriate for the area and can be effectively implemented by local farmers.
We will be updating this website regularly to provide further information during the rulemaking process. We are also happy to visit with any members who plan to testify at a public hearing or submit written comments to assist you with this process.