Minnesota Public Radio: Fertilizer rules to start this week, but will they curb Minn. groundwater’s nitrate problem?

EXCERPT: “Don Tschida grows corn, beans and small grain on land that his father and grandfather farmed before him. On his central Minnesota farm, he also raises a small herd of beef cattle and two barns of broiler chickens . . . Starting this week, farmers in parts of Minnesota, including in Morrison County, will face new restrictions on how they apply nitrogen fertilizer. The regulations are aimed at reducing nitrate contamination in the state’s groundwater. But whether they’ll have a real impact on a growing health and environmental problem is still up for debate. In a testing program a few years ago, more than half of the wells tested in Agram Township, where Tschida farms, had a level of nitrate higher than what the federal government considers safe for drinking water. Above that limit, nitrate poses a health risk to humans, especially infants. Consuming too much nitrate can cause a potentially serious or even fatal condition known as blue baby syndrome. Nitrate contamination can come from different sources, including septic systems and urban drainage. But in Minnesota, the biggest source is the fertilizer and animal manure commonly applied to farm fields.” FULL STORY: https://fluence-media.co/31IltEC