The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather field-scale water quality information on different types of farms across Minnesota. The three pillars of the program are farmer leadership, credible research, and communicating results.
Phase 4 of the Lake Winona Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) project will finalize the draft Lake Winona TMDL, dated November 2009, by completing additional data analysis, lake quality modeling, updating the TMDL report, and supporting the public involvement process.
This project will provide technical, planning and engineering assistance to the MPCA for the development and implementation of the St. Louis River Remedial Action Plan (RAP). USACE and USEPA in partnership with the MPCA will administer work plans to complete a sediment assessment for Minnesota areas within Superior Bay, St. Louis Bay, Lower St. Louis River and the Upper St. Louis River, encompassing approximately 5,349 acres of the St. Louis River and Estuary.
This project addresses twelve lakes that have aquatic recreation impairments as identified by eutrophication indicators and 53 impairments on 45 stream reaches in the Minnesota River Mankato and Watonwan River watersheds. The project will develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) addressing impaired lakes and streams in the Minnesota River–Mankato and Watonwan River watersheds. A TMDL establishes the maximum amount of a pollutant allowed in a waterbody and serves as the starting point or planning tool for restoring water quality.
This project will create a high accuracy elevation dataset - critical for effectively planning and implementing water quality projects - for the state of Minnesota using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and geospatial mapping technologies. Although some areas of the state have been mapped previously, many counties remain unmapped or have insufficient or inadequate data. This multi-year project, to be completed in 2012, is a collaborative effort of Minnesota's Digital Elevation Committee and partners with county surveyors to ensure accuracy with ground-truthing.
The Nitrogen Rate Study on Coarse-Textured Soil (N Rate Study) was done in 2015-2018 by the University of Minnesota (U of M) and Central Lakes College (CLC) at CLC’s farm in Staples, MN. The study examined nitrogen fertilizer rates for corn on sandy soil—with and without irrigation. The study specifically considered potential nitrogen loss from dryland corn versus irrigated corn and was established after the U of M released new nitrogen rate guidelines in early 2015.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is working with partners at the Rosholt Research Farm in Westport, Minnesota to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices and the associated water quality impacts on irrigated, sandy soils.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has designed a Township Testing Program to determine current nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in private wells on a township scale. The MDA has identified townships throughout the state that are vulnerable to groundwater contamination (because of local geology or shallow groundwater) and have significant row crop production. These are the counties that will be prioritized for Township Testing.