Contact your legislators and Governor Dayton now and ask that they make needed modifications to the state’s water buffer law and delay its implementation so that local governments and farmers have enough time to comply. Quickly and easily send an email to your legislators and Gov. Dayton today.
The voices of farmers and rural Minnesotans’ do make a difference!
Minnesota’s water buffer law was passed in 2015 and various officials have acknowledged that the implementation of the law would be complicated. This reality has been validated by the significant delays in developing buffer guidelines and the resulting confusion that now exists throughout the state among farmers and local government officials.
For example, it has taken almost two years to identify approved alternative practices, which were only released last month. In addition, there is confusion over the classification of private vs. public ditches and insufficient funding for county boards and watershed districts to assist with local implementation of the law. Further, the current law lacks suitable compensation for removing farmland from production. The taking of productive farmland without some compensation and/or tax relief is especially troubling at a time when farmers are experiencing multiple years of low prices and financial stress.
For these reasons, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and many more in the agriculture community, along with rural government officials, are asking the Governor and Legislature to come up with a satisfactory agreement concerning the water buffer law during this legislative session and to delay its implementation. The delay would provide farmers and local officials more time to understand the law and make appropriate plans to comply with its provisions.
More importantly, an improved water buffer law will allow farmers, government officials and rural communities to truly move forward together toward our shared goal of protecting our state’s water resources.