Irrigation Water Quality Protection

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2021 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$150,000
2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$150,000
2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Fund Source
Clean Water Fund
Recipient
University of Minnesota-Extension
Recipient Type
Public College/University
Status
Ongoing
Start Date
June 2014
End Date
June 2021
Activity Type
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Counties Affected
Becker
Beltrami
Benton
Big Stone
Blue Earth
Brown
Cass
Chippewa
Clay
Crow Wing
Dakota
Douglas
Goodhue
Grant
Hubbard
Isanti
Kandiyohi
Kittson
Lac qui Parle
Lincoln
Marshall
Meeker
Morrison
Mower
Norman
Otter Tail
Pipestone
Polk
Pope
Red Lake
Renville
Rice
Sherburne
Stearns
Stevens
Swift
Todd
Wabasha
Wadena
Washington
Watonwan
Wright
Becker
Beltrami
Benton
Big Stone
Blue Earth
Brown
Cass
Chippewa
Clay
Crow Wing
Dakota
Douglas
Goodhue
Grant
Hubbard
Isanti
Kandiyohi
Kittson
Lac qui Parle
Lincoln
Marshall
Meeker
Morrison
Mower
Norman
Otter Tail
Pipestone
Polk
Pope
Red Lake
Renville
Rice
Sherburne
Stearns
Stevens
Swift
Todd
Wabasha
Wadena
Washington
Watonwan
Wright
Project Overview

Funding supports an Irrigation Specialist to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices (BMPs). In this position, Dr. Vasu Sharma provides direct support to irrigators on issues of irrigation scheduling and soil water monitoring. She is collaborating on the development of new irrigation scheduling tools that help irrigators manage water and nitrogen resources more precisely. These tools help reduce nitrogen leaching losses in irrigated cropping systems.

Dr. Vasu Sharma
Irrigation Extension Specialist
vasudha@umn.edu

University of Minnesota
439 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108-6028

 

About the Issue

Irrigation of nitrogen demanding row crops (such as corn, potatoes and edible beans) is a major potential source of nitrate in groundwater especially in the areas with coarse-textured (sandy) soils such as those commonly found in central Minnesota. The number of irrigation permits is currently at an all-time high. Water management and nitrogen fertilizer strategies must be managed together. Many farmers, particularly those newly implementing irrigation, would benefit from increased education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices (BMPs). 

The absence of an Irrigation Specialist was identified as a critical need by the irrigation community and other ag stakeholders. During the 2011 Forum on Minnesota Irrigated Agriculture, the lack of an irrigation specialist at the University of Minnesota was one of the most important issues discussed.

Project Details

Minnesota’s Irrigation Specialist position started in June 2014 and is providing education on irrigation management and nitrogen fertilizer best management practices (BMPs). This position is collaborating with public and private entities to develop and demonstrate tools and technology to protect and conserve groundwater resources.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minnesota Session Laws - 2019, 1st Special Session, CHAPTER 2--S.F. No. 3, Article 2
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2019: (g) $150,000 the first year and $150,000 the second year are for a regional irrigation water quality specialist through University of Minnesota Extension.

2021 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$150,000
Direct expenses
$150,000
Administration costs
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)
  • Number of presentations, workshops and other educational events hosted each year and the number of farmers, crop consultants and co-op dealers that attend
  • Number of local units of government participating in irrigator outreach and education activities
  • Number of irrigators participating in Clean Water funded irrigation management programs
  • Number of irrigation best management practices (BMPs) revised, developed, and promoted
  • Number of BMPs adopted
Measurable Outcome(s)
Proposed Outcomes Achieved
achieved proposed outcomes
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minnesota Session Laws - 2019, 1st Special Session, CHAPTER 2--S.F. No. 3, Article 2
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2019: (g) $150,000 the first year and $150,000 the second year are for a regional irrigation water quality specialist through University of Minnesota Extension.

2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$150,000
Direct expenses
$150,000
Administration costs
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)
  • Number of presentations, workshops and other educational events hosted each year and the number of farmers, crop consultants and co-op dealers that attend
  • Number of local units of government participating in irrigator outreach and education activities
  • Number of irrigators participating in Clean Water funded irrigation management programs
  • Number of irrigation best management practices (BMPs) revised, developed, and promoted
  • Number of BMPs adopted
Measurable Outcome(s)

In 2015-2020:

  • About 7,100 farmers, crop consultants, and co-op dealers participated in 118 educational events (presentations, workshops, field days)
  • 20 local government unit partners are involved in irrigation water quality protection
  • 500 irrigators, managing about 100,000 acres, participated in Clean Water Fund supported irrigation management programs (irrigation clinics, irrigation field days, nitrogen management conference)

In 2020:

  • About 250 irrigators accessed daily evapotranspiration weather information for water management
  • 3 new irrigation best management practices were revised, developed and promoted online
Description of Funds
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture passed this funding through to the University of Minnesota.This positon is located at University of Minnesota Extension on the St. Paul campus.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2017, Chapter 91, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2017: (h) $110,000 the first year and $110,000 the second year are to provide funding for a regional irrigation water quality specialist through University of Minnesota Extension.

2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Direct expenses
$110,000
Administration costs
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please see the most recent fiscal year for up to date information.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please see the most recent fiscal year for up to date information.

Description of Funds
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture passed this funding through to the University of Minnesota.This positon is located at University of Minnesota Extension on the St. Paul campus.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2017, Chapter 91, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2017: (h) $110,000 the first year and $110,000 the second year are to provide funding for a regional irrigation water quality specialist through University of Minnesota Extension.

2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Direct expenses
$110,000
Administration costs
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please see the most recent fiscal year for up to date information.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please see the most recent fiscal year for up to date information.

Description of Funds
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture passed this funding through to the University of Minnesota.This position is located at University of Minnesota Extension on the St. Paul campus.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2015, 1st Special Session, Chapter 2, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2015: (h) $110,000 the first year and $110,000 the second year are to provide funding for a regional irrigation water quality specialist through University of Minnesota Extension.

2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Direct expenses
$110,000
Administration costs
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please see the most recent fiscal year for up to date information.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Irrigation specialist: Joshua Stamper

FY14-15: The University of Minnesota-Extension Irrigation Specialist Position completed 42 presentations, workshops and other educational events attended by approximately 2,300 farmers, crop consultants and co-op dealers. Worked in cooperation with 8 local units of government (LGUs).

FY16-17: Forty four (44) education and outreach activities were completed involving approximately 2,700 participants. Cooperation continues with 8 LGUs.

  • New irrigation scheduling references and BMPs are under development which will lead to greater irrigation BMP adoption.
  • Dakota County Irrigation Scheduling Program focused on providing technical advice to irrigators about irrigation water management tools that matched their irrigation management. Surveyed irrigators and determined that there is significant interest in collecting in-season irrigation water sampling to credit nitrates that are in irrigation water sample.

Completed:

  • Revision of irrigation water management publications
  • Statewide Irrigation Soils map and Survey
  • GIS Irrigability Data Layer
  • YouTube Videos (easily accessible educational materials)

Irrigation specialist Dr. Vasu Sharma started July 1, 2018

Description of Funds
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture passed this funding through to the University of Minnesota.This position is located at University of Minnesota Extension on the St. Paul campus.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2015, 1st Special Session, Chapter 2, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2015: (h) $110,000 the first year and $110,000 the second year are to provide funding for a regional irrigation water quality specialist through University of Minnesota Extension.

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Direct expenses
$110,000
Administration costs
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please see the most recent fiscal year for up to date information.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please see the most recent fiscal year for up to date information.

Description of Funds
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture passed this funding through to the University of Minnesota.This position is located at University of Minnesota Extension on the St. Paul campus.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013, Chapter 137, Article 2, Sec. 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2013: (h) $110,000 the first year and $110,000 the second year are to provide funding for a regional irrigation water quality specialist through University of Minnesota Extension.

 

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Direct expenses
$110,000
Administration costs
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)
  • Number of presentations, workshops and other educational events hosted each year and the number of farmers, crop consultants and co-op dealers that attend
  • Number of local units of government participating in irrigator outreach and education activities
  • Number of partners collaborating on the development of new irrigation scheduling tools that help irrigators manage water and nitrogen resources more precisely
  • Number of irrigation BMPs revised, developed, and promoted
  • Number of  BMPs adopted
Measurable Outcome(s)
  • Number of presentations, workshops and other educational events hosted each year and the number of farmers, crop consultants and co-op dealers that attend (96 events / 395 participants)
  • Number of local units of government participating in irrigator outreach and education activities (8)
  • Number of partners collaborating on the development of new irrigation scheduling tools that help irrigators manage water and nitrogen resources more precisely (6)

Information will be collected via personal conversations, interviews, focus groups or surveys for these performance measures.

  • Number of irrigation BMPs revised, developed, and promoted
  • Number of  BMPs adopted
Description of Funds
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture passed this funding through to the University of Minnesota.This position is located at University of Minnesota Extension on the St. Paul campus.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013, Chapter 137, Article 2, Sec. 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2013: (h) $110,000 the first year and $110,000 the second year are to provide funding for a regional irrigation water quality specialist through University of Minnesota Extension.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Direct expenses
$110,000
Administration costs
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please see the most recent fiscal year for up to date information.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please see the most recent fiscal year for up to date information.

Description of Funds
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture passed this funding through to the University of Minnesota.This positon is located at University of Minnesota Extension on the St. Paul campus.
Project Manager
First Name
Jeppe
Last Name
Kjaersgaard
Organization Name
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Street Address
625 Robert Street North
City
St. Paul
State
MN
Zip Code
55155
Phone
(651) 201-6149
Email
Jeppe.Kjaersgaard@state.mn.us
Administered By
Administered by
Location

625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone
651-201-6000
Email the Agency