Nutrient Management Along the Lower Mississippi River
(i) $1,250,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for targeted nonpoint restoration technical assistance and engineering. At least 93 percent of this amount must be made available for grants. (2011 - Restoration Technical Assistance)
The two nutrient management specialists worked directly with landowners applying manure and commercial fertilizers. A total 288 nutrient management plans covering 77,249 acres of agricultural land have been completed or updated during the period of this grant project.
This project will assist farmers across Southeast Minnesota by providing guidance on management of nutrient sources including livestock manure, commercial fertilizers, and legumes. This project is important because excess nutrients and bacteria are causing negative impacts to the quality of waters. Two Nutrient Management Specialists will work one-on-one with farmers to develop 70 plans each year. Over time, it is anticipated that the number of new nutrient management plans will decrease as acres with plans increase.
Nutrient management plans follow U of M recommendations reducing the risk of over application and transport of nutrients and bacteria into surface or ground water. This project aligns with regional goals to reduce fecal coliform bacteria levels by 65% and to reduce nitrate levels in ground water and surface water to below 10 mg/l. In addition, at least 10 educational events related to Manure Management will be held. A research grant will continue to evaluate the optimal amount of nitrogen for corn on solid pack manured soils as affected by rate and timing of application.
This project expands a Nutrient Management effort throughout the 11 SE MN Counties that began in early 2007. The SE SWCD Tech Support JPB provided the overall grant coordination that allowed Fillmore and Rice SWCD’s to each employ trained Nutrient Management Planners whose workload is directed throughout the 11 county area. So far, over 250 producers have benefited from the technical assistance provided by these two positions, with plans covering 124,786 acres.