Application of fertilizer to farm fields in the fall would be restricted in areas of Minnesota where there are porous soils, under a proposal unveiled today by the Dayton administration. The objective is to reduce nitrates leaching into drinking water supplies. State Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson says, “I’ve come to the realization that, because we are a headwaters state, we literally have a moral obligation to do what’s right in Minnesota.”
Farms that would be affected by the proposed new rule are primarily in central and southeast Minnesota, along the Mississippi River basin. 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.