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Nutrient Management-Environmental Assessment

Updated 07/12/2012

This page contains various databases, tools, suggested management practices and fact sheets used when developing nutrient management plans.

 These documents require Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word

Identifying Sensitive Features

  • Sensitive Areas (pdf; 800 KB)
    MPCA/NRCS brochure. Lists areas that must be identified when developing nutrient management plans. Indicates practices to use in those sensitive areas.
  • Groundwater Sensitivity
    MDNR Website describing maps useful for determining groundwater sensitivity to pollution.
  • Source Water Assessment Areas
    Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) site describing sensitivity to pollution of water supplies used by the general public. Public drinking water supplies sensitive to contamination must be considered when developing a Nutrient management plan.
  • Source Water Protection Interactive Mapping
    Minn. Dept. of Agriculture (MDA) site that identifies drinking water source assessments. Uses MDH information noted above.
  • MDA Source Water Protection Areas
  • Watershed Information MPCA site with specific information on the 81 major watersheds in Minnesota including monitoring and assessment efforts.
  • Impaired Waters
    Minn. Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) site identifying water bodies with uses impaired by pollution or biotic manipulation. Nutrient management planning upstream from impaired reaches must consider the impairment if it may be influenced by land use activities. The Minnesota Phosphorus Index should be used for planning in watersheds listed as impaired due to phosphorus.
  • State Public Waters Inventory
     Link to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)
  • Environmental Data Access
    MPCA site that allows access to water and air quality data; monitoring site locations and interactive mapping used to identify water body conditions throughout Minnesota.
  • MPCA Nitrates in Surface Water Study
  • NRCS – Minnesota Surficial Aquifer Assessment  05/09
    Database identifies relative sensitivity of surficial aquifers to movement of materials towards those aquifers.  Available to the general public on the  Web Soil Survey.  

  1. Run WSS

  2. Identify Area of Interest (AOI)

  3. Select Soil Data Explorer

  4. Select Suitabilities and Limitations for Use

  5. Select Sanitary Facilities

  6. Select Aquifer Assessment (MN)

  • Sensitive Soil Features for Nutrient Management  05/09
    This database is referenced in the sensitive areas brochure and is used to define select soil related sensitive areas on client’s farms that require specific nutrient management recommendations. Available to the general public on the  Web Soil Survey.  
  1.  Run WSS

  2. Identify Area of Interest (AOI)

  3. Select Soil Data Explorer

  4.  Select Suitabilities and Limitations for Use

  5. Select Waste Management

  6. Select Sensitive Soils for Nutrient Management (MN)

Decision Making Aides

NRCS Nitrogen Movement Assessment Tool (doc; 165 KB)
Preliminary nutrient management planning tool used in geologic settings sensitive to groundwater contamination including Source Water Assessment Areas indicated as sensitive to contamination.

NRCS Phosphorus Management Assessment Tool (doc; 116 KB)
NRCS preliminary manure management planning tool used to help make nutrient management recommendations on livestock operations.

The Minnesota Phosphorus Index -University. of Minnesota
Nutrient management planning tool used to identify relative risk of phosphorus movement from agricultural fields in Phosphorus impaired watersheds. Also used when the NRCS P assessment tool indicates no manure application. 

Producer Self-Assessment tool for evaluating well contamination potential from Farmstead activities.  (The complete set of Worksheets and Factsheets is available from NRCS in New Jersey)

Management Practices

Nutrient Application Restrictions in Sensitive Areas (pdf; 24 KB)
One page chart identifying MPCA and NRCS setbacks for manure or commercial fertilizer applications in sensitive areas.

Management Practice Considerations for Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P)  05/09
General practices to control N and P movement grouped by N BMP Regions.

MDA BMP Website

Southeastern Minnesota (pdf; 50 KB)
South Central Minnesota (pdf; 52 KB)
Southwest Minnesota (pdf; 54 KB)
Northwest Minnesota (pdf; 53 KB)
East Central and Central Minnesota (pdf; 62 KB)

Isolation Distances from water supply wells (pdf; 1.5 MB) 
Minnesota Department of Health fact sheet listing distance that must be maintained between a well and an activity, building or other feature that could negatively impact the well or well water.

Feedlot Rules and Water Types (pdf; 29 KB)
MPCA chart relating feedlot rules to various water bodies.

Mortality Disposal BMPs (pdf; 53 KB)

Sewage Sludge Land Application Practices (pdf; 62 KB)
State rule Chapter 7041 addressing land application of sewage sludge.