Agricultural runoff is a significant source of polluting nutrients to waters of the CRWD. This project seeks to lessen this source of pollution by assisting farmers with changing the fertilizer application rates for their fields.
Many farmers apply fertilizers to their fields at standard rates, even though field fertilizer requirements vary significantly. By testing the soil throughout a given field to determine fertilizer requirements, the farmer can apply the fertilizer at variable rates throughout a field. This optimization of fertilizer application results in improve yields and operational cost controls for the farmer, and lowers the potential for nutrient runoff from fields to District waters. This practice is known as precision soil testing and GPS-aided fertilizer application.
After a successful pilot phase (known as the Fertilizer Field Trial), this project received a grant in the amount of $300,000 from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency through a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Fund for the enrollment of 16,000 acres into this systematic soil testing program. The project was completed early fall 2016.
Results of Project
"Trickle down water benefits" - Annandale Advocate February 1st, 2017 article
September 26th, 2016 - Targeted Fertilizer Project Successful- Water Quality Protected, Farmers' Yield Optimized
December 15th, 2014 - Farmers and Water Quality Win: Clearwater River Watershed District Receives Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts' Program of the Year Award
June 5th, 2014 - A Rare Win for Lake, Streams and Farmers: Clearwater River Watershed District Honored at Environmental Initiative Award Ceremony for Targeted Fertilizer Project
Targeted Fertilizer Application Reduction Project Final Report
2015 Presentation to Minnesota Division of the Izaak Walton League of America- "Targeted Fertilizer Application Reduction Program: A Unique Partnership Benefitting Water Quality & Agricultural Production"
October 2012 Targeted Fertilizer Brochure - Program Enrollment
April 2011 Brochure - Fertilizer Field Trial Results