Irrigation Workshops and On Farm Nitrogen Management in Central Minnesota

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$54,543
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$55,000
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$55,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$57,290
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$80,440
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$84,565
Fund Source
Clean Water Fund
Recipient
East Otter Tail County SWCD, Darren Newville, District Manager, darren.newville@mn.nacdnet.net 218-346-4260 x110
Recipient Type
Local/Regional Government
Status
In Progress
Start Date
December 2010
End Date
June 2018
Activity Type
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Technical Assistance
Counties Affected
Becker
Hubbard
Otter Tail
Todd
Wadena
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2015, First Special Session, Chapter 2, Article 2. Section 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2015: (b) $2,586,000 the first year and $2,585,000 the second year are for monitoring and evaluating trends in the concentration of nitrate in groundwater in areas vulnerable to groundwater degradation; monitoring for pesticides when nitrate is detected; promoting, developing, and evaluating regional and crop-specific nutrient best management practices; assessing best management practice adoption; education and technical support from University of Minnesota Extension; and other actions to protect groundwater from degradation from nitrate. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$54,543
Number of full time equivalents funded
see "Statewide Groundwater and Drinking Water Protection"
Measurable Outcome(s)

Measurable outcomes will be reported at the end of the fiscal year.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013, Chapter 137, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2013: (b) $2,500,000 the first year and $2,500,000 the second year are to increase monitoring and evaluate trends in the concentration of nitrates in groundwater in areas vulnerable to groundwater degradation, including a substantial increase of monitoring of private wells in cooperation with the commissioner of health, monitoring for pesticides when nitrates are detected, and promoting and evaluating regional and crop-specific nutrient best management practices to protect groundwater from degradation.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$55,000
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
see "Statewide Groundwater and Drinking Water Protection"
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

 

Measurable Outcome(s)

Measurable outcomes will be reported at the end of the fiscal year.

Description of Funds
Project activities are supported through a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with East Ottertail Soil and Water Conservation District.
Recipient Board Members
East Otter Tail SWCD Board of Supervisors

Lyle Dittmann - Chairman,

Steve Inwards - Vice Chairman,

Marion Gill - Treasurer,

Terry Greenwaldt - Public Relations,

Dennis Reynolds - Secretary
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013, Chapter 137, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2013: (b) $2,500,000 the first year and $2,500,000 the second year are to increase monitoring and evaluate trends in the concentration of nitrates in groundwater in areas vulnerable to groundwater degradation, including a substantial increase of monitoring of private wells in cooperation with the commissioner of health, monitoring for pesticides when nitrates are detected, and promoting and  evaluating regional and crop-specific nutrient best management practices to protect groundwater from degradation.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$55,000
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
see "Statewide Groundwater and Drinking Water Protection"
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)
  • Number of farmers that attend irrigation workshops
      • Number of irrigated acres that workshop attendants manage
  • Percent of surveyed farmers that make changes in management practices based on information presented at workshops
  • Number of farmers enrolled in the On Farm Nitrogen Management Program
      • Number of acres enrolled in the Program
      • Number of counties with fields enrolled in the Program
  • Number of fields (in program) within community Wellhead Protection Areas (WHPA)
      • Number of acres, in program, that are within WHPAs
  • Number of producer led strip trials established (beginning in 2012)
      • Number of acres involved in the strip trials  
  • Number of agricultural professionals (fertilizer dealerships, crop advisors, agronomists, etc.) involved in nitrogen strip trials
Measurable Outcome(s)

Through cooperative agreements with local partners, the MDA is supporting irrigation workshops and training in the Central Sands region in central Minnesota. Over 400 irrigators have participated to learn about irrigation water management, soil moisture measurement, nitrogen fertilizer management, soil health, and groundwater concerns in their area. An “Easy to Use Guide” has been developed to help interested counties host additional irrigation workshops. Morrison and Benton SWCDs are using the guide to plan joint irrigation workshops in 2015 and 2016.Participation in the On Farm Nitrogen Management Program continues to grow:2011: 23 growers, 52 fields, 2 counties2012: 44 growers, 53 fields, 4 counties2013: 41 growers, 44 fields, 4 counties2014: 58 growers, 65 fields, 4 counties   

Description of Funds
Project activities are supported through a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with East Ottertail Soil and Water Conservation District
Recipient Board Members
Board Members have remained the same since 2010. Please see names listed under FY10.
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, Chapter 6, Article 2, Sec.3
Appropriation Language

M.L.2011: (b) $850, 000 the first year and $850,000 the second year are to increase monitoring and evaluate trends in the concentration of nitrate in groundwater in high-risk areas and regionally and to promote and evaluate regional and crop-specific nutrient best management practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2016.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$57,290
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
see "Statewide Groundwater and Drinking Water Protection"
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to fiscal year 2014

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to fiscal year 2014

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, Chapter 6, Article 2, Sec. 3
Appropriation Language

M.L.2011: (b) $850, 000 the first year and $850,000 the second year are to increase monitoring and evaluate trends in the concentration of nitrate in groundwater in high-risk areas and regionally and to promote and evaluate regional and crop-specific nutrient best management practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2016.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$80,440
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
see "Statewide Groundwater and Drinking Water Protection"
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to fiscal year 2014

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to fiscal year 2014

Description of Funds
Project activities are supported through a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with East Ottertail Soil and Water Conservation District.
Recipient Board Members
East Otter Tail SWCD Board of Supervisors

Lyle Dittmann - Chairman,

Steve Inwards - Vice Chairman,

Marion Gill - Treasurer,

Terry Greenwaldt - Public Relations,

Dennis Reynolds - Secretary
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009, Chapter 172, Article 2, Sec. 2
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2009: (c) $375,000 the first year and $750,000 the second year are to increase groundwater and drinking water protection from agricultural chemicals, primarily nutrients.

2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$84,565
Administration costs
$0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to fiscal year 2014

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to fiscal year 2014

Description of Funds
Project activities are supported through a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with East Ottertail Soil and Water Conservation District.
Recipient Board Members
East Otter Tail SWCD Board of Supervisors

Lyle Dittmann - Chairman,

Steve Inwards - Vice Chairman,

Marion Gill - Treasurer,

Terry Greenwaldt - Public Relations,

Dennis Reynolds - Secretary
Project Overview
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has partnered with the East Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District (EOT SWCD) to carry out a series of workshops and expand programs that promote proper water and nitrogen management.   
 
In partnership, the MDA and EOT SWCD developed curriculum and hosted nine irrigation workshops in central Minnesota. These workshops included information about on-farm nitrogen and fertilizer management and engaged participants with hands-on activities.
 
This funding supports many activities aimed at helping irrigators improve nutrient and water management.
  • A comprehensive needs assessment of the irrigation industry included a survey of irrigators in the Central Sands region. The survey explored current water and nitrogen management and also identified obstacles that hinder the adoption of more sophisticated management practices. The needs assessment has helped set priorities for future projects.
  • East Otter Tail SWCD offers one-on-one training and works with individual farmers to schedule proper irrigation management.
  • Partners are supporting an on-farm nitrogen management program that encourages farmers to implement management actions, monitor to observe the results of those actions and use the results to adjust future management actions accordingly.
  • Nine weather stations have been installed to provide regional climate information to producers, specifically daily crop water use (also known as evapotranspiration) data. This information helps irrigators know the daily water needs of various crops and more effectively manage water.
    • Weather stations are currently located in central Minnesota: Pine Point, Hubbard, Perham, Otter Tail, Wadena, Staples, Parkers Prairie, Browerville and Westport
More information is available on MDA's Clean Water Fund web page for this project.
About the Issue

The MDA's monitoring data indicates that high groundwater nitrate-nitrogen levels exist in some areas of central Minnesota and that nitrate levels have steadily increased in this region over the past two decades. The sandy soils in this area are a major factor contributing to the elevated groundwater nitrate levels. Proper irrigation water and nitrogen management are critical where vulnerable groundwater aquifers are prevalent.

Ensuring that Minnesota irrigators have the proper technical tools and training is critical to the long-term protection of groundwater resources.This program will provide Minnesota irrigators with the knowledge, tools and technology to make informed management decisions that can minimize negative environmental impacts while increasing profitability.

Project Manager
First Name
Luke
Last Name
Stuewe
Organization Name
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Street Address
801 Roosevelt Avenue
City
Detroit Lakes
State
MN
Zip Code
56501
Phone
(218) 846-7425
Email
Luke.Stuewe@state.mn.us