Nitrate Modeling and Outreach Request for Proposals (RFP)
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.
The Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan (NFMP) recognizes that existing best management practices (BMPs) may not adequately protect the groundwater from nitrate contamination in some geologic sensitive areas. The NFMP introduces the concept of alternative management tools (AMTs), which are advanced practices that may be required to protect groundwater or mitigate groundwater contamination. To ensure the State has appropriate tools and information to help determine where the promotion of AMTs should occur, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture issued a request for proposals (RFP) in the fall of 2014 to identify, develop, enhance and demonstrate predictive modeling tools for nitrate losses under common crop production systems, soil types and climate conditions across Minnesota. The State received four proposals in response to the RFP, each leveraging existing MDA and state programs and projects. Dr. David Mulla at the Univeristy of Minnesota was selected and is currently working on this project.