Republicans Dislike Dayton Nitrate Plan 07 Mar 18

(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) “Vastly unpopular,” say top Republicans about the Dayton administration’s proposal to restrict the fall application of fertilizer on farmland with porous soil.

The objective is to reduce nitrates leaching into drinking water supplies and state Ag Commissioner Dave Frederickson says, “We’re gonna ask farmers to change their practices and to… apply fertilizer in the spring.” 

Representatives Rod Hamilton from Mountain Lake and Paul Anderson from Starbuck say farmers are already using less nitrogen than in the past and the effort to improve water should come from them, not through unnecessary regulations implemented by state agencies.

Farms that would be affected by the proposed new rule are primarily in central and southeast Minnesota, along the Mississippi River basin. Dayton administration officials say the next step is to address the problem in the high ag production areas in western and southwest Minnesota — but they point out soils are less porous there.