Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast (RRAF) system
After this system is developed and deployed, we plan to track the number of Minnesota farmers and crop advisers that use it when applying manure and other nitrogen fertilizer products.
This system is currently under development
The Minnesota Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast (RRAF) system is a tool designed to help farmers and commercial applicators determine the best time to apply manure. Precipitation, snow melt or other conditions can cause recently applied manure to move off target. The movement can decrease productivity and increase the risk of impacting local water resources.
The RRAF takes into account soil moisture content, forecast precipitation and temperatures, snow accumulation and melt to predict the likelihood of daily, next day, and 72 hour runoff events. Farmers and commercial applicators use an interactive map to locate their field and find the forecasted risk.
Runoff risk is grouped into four categories: No Runoff Expected, Low, Moderate and Severe. When the risk is Moderate or Severe, it is recommended that the applicator evaluate the situation to determine if there are other locations or later dates when the application could take place.
The MDA, in partnership with the National Weather Service, developed RRAF system. It is part of a regional Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast project. The goal of the projects is to provide information that leads to less manure runoff.
Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio have partnered with several federal agencies and educational institutions to develop similar decision-support tools.The National Weather Service created a YouTube video (https://youtu.be/FAOLSjtRFZo) to describe this effort, discussion of the "application risk tool" begins at the 2:30 minute mark.
The Application Risk Advisory System also integrates and enhances the MDA’s existing Six‑Inch Soil Temperature Network (www.mda.state.mn.us/soiltemp) to provide better spatial presentation of soil temperature for guiding fall anhydrous ammonia application. This enables applicators to follow the best management practice of waiting for soils to cool to 50º F in the fall before applying anhydrous to reduce losses of nitrate to water.