The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is preparing to release a Request for Proposals for its Clean Water Research Program.
Draft research priorities for fiscal year 2013 should quantify agricultural conservation practice effectiveness related to nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) source reduction, off-site movement, and interception treatment in state of Minnesota. Projects should focus on the water quality effects of both individual conservation practices and the cumulative effects of multiple conservation practices. Proposals should also include a cost effectiveness component. Studies may be supported by computer models, but should not exclusively rely on a modeling approach.
Practices of special interest are:
• The effectiveness and feasibility of saturated buffers in reducing tile drainage nitrate loading to surface waters.
• The effectiveness of woodchip bioreactors in pattern and non-pattern tiled fields.
• Using commercially available optical sensors and or remote sensing to quantify nutrient applications to agricultural fields, and the resulting impacts on water quality.
• Using engineered features to treat surface water runoff on the landscape.
If you have comments on the priorities, please send them to Joshua Stamper at Joshua.Stamper@state.mn.us no later than Tuesday, September 25.
•In 2011, the MDA received 28 research proposals totaling $7.6 million in requests. An evaluation team selected four projects to receive funding.
•This program has 10 on-going and 11 completed projects, for a total of 21 projects (please note some projects were supported by one time appropriations in 2007 and 2008/2009).
MDA supports research projects to identify processes that affect water quality and evaluate the costs and benefits of specific agricultural practices. Since 2008, the agency has announced three requests for proposals. Any organization, research entity or individual may apply for these funds. The MDA works cooperatively with various research entities and provides administrative support for the program.
The goals of the research program are to:
•Evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural BMPs
•Identify underlying processes that affect water quality
•Develop technologies to target critical areas of the landscape
The research helps provide current and accurate scientific data on the environmental impact of agricultural practices and to develop or revise BMPs that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining economic profitability.
If you would like to learn more about existing research projects, please visit MDA's Clean Water Fund website, or use this link: