Tag: Water Quality

MCGA student Agvocate highlights his family's efforts to protect water quality

Written by Sam Peterson

Water quality has become an increasingly heated issue surrounding agriculture in the last few years. On my family’s farm in Northfield, Minn., it has been a hot topic since I was born. My family is very concerned with the quality of the land we farm and that includes the quality of the water below and on the surface. We use many practices to help conserve the quality of water including buffer strips,

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Innovative project could help farmers overcome drought and protect water quality

An innovative project managed by University of Minnesota researcher Dr. Jeff Strock could help farmers boost yields while also improving water quality.

Later this summer, Strock will oversee the installation of an on-farm storage pond on a farm in Southwestern Minnesota. Surface and subsurface drainage water will be diverted to the pond instead of nearby waterways. Later in the summer, the water can be used for irrigation when thirsty crops need it most.

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These MN family farmers are proud to call themselves "active environmentalists"

It’s rare that Jeffrey and Karen Larson shut down their combine in the middle of harvest season. But when their landlord’s daughter and family called and asked if her and a few friends from the Twin Cities could come over for a tour of the Larson’s farm a few years ago, the Larsons took a short break from the fields and gave the group a taste of what farming in Minnesota is all about.

“We’re going to take the time,

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6,000 feet of buffers protect water quality on this Faribault county family farm

On their family farm in Wells, Minn., Mark and Lea Nowak have over 6,000 feet of buffer strips along a large county drainage ditch that enters Walnut Lake and eventually flows into the Blue Earth River before ending up in the Minnesota River.

The buffers are 33 feet wide, twice as long as what the county recommended when they were installed in 2008.

“It’s nice to walk along and see that it’s keeping sediments and runoff out of the water,” Mark said.

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This week showed why it's important for farmers to tell their own story

We’ve spent the past week here at MinnesotaCornerstone.com highlighting some of the common, everyday conservation efforts of Minnesota’s corn farmers.

To many farmers, conservation practices like buffer strips, grass waterways or setting aside wildlife habitat is part of everyday life on the farm. But non-farmers might not be familiar with such practices and how farmers implement them.

That’s why it’s important for farmers to tell their own story, with an emphasis on conservation efforts.

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Today's farms are greener than grandpa's

Today’s edition of the Star Tribune features an op-ed from Seth Spronk, a livestock and row crop farmer in Edgerton, Minn., on the efforts of today’s farmers to protect our land, soil and water resources. Spronk wrote the piece in response to a July 5 Star Tribune story that featured the town of Edgerton (located in Pipestone County) and examined water quality and agricultural runoff.

Spronk detailed the many steps he takes on his own farm to effectively manage the application of manure and other inputs to best protect the area’s drinking water,

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Farmfest nitrate screening helps farmers address water quality

Bring your water samples from wells, ditches, streams or tile outlets to Farmfest for free nitrate screening, courtesy of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center (MAWRC).

The screening is completely confidential and takes about 20 minutes. You can drop off your sample at the MAWRC location inside of the AURI tent, check out Farmfest, then pick up your results anytime.

“There’s a lot of attention being paid to nitrates in groundwater and surface waters,”

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Video: Discovery Farms helps farmers protect water quality

Discovery FarmsAcross Minnesota, Discovery Farms is helping farmers monitor the amount of sediment and fertilizer leaving their fields. The effort is one of many ways farmers are investing in science and technology to continuously improve at protecting land, soil and water resources.

Recently, Lynn Ketelsen from the Linder Farm Network visited Brian Herbst’s family farm near Kasson, Minn. Herbst’s farm is one of 11 diverse Discovery Farm sites throughout Minnesota where agronomy experts have installed equipment to monitor sediment,

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From today's Star Tribune: Enough with all of this Minnesota farmer-bashing

Noah Hultgren, a fourth-generation family farmer in Raymond, Minn., and First Vice President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, has an op-ed in today’s Star Tribune that covers what corn farmers are doing to address water quality concerns.

Hultgren also shares his perspective Gov. Dayton’s buffer strip proposal and tackles “what seems to be a coordinated effort to label farmers as polluters who are doing nothing to address water-quality concerns.”

Here is an excerpt from the piece:

We don’t need more shouting.

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How do water levels in the soil impact crops?

Minnesota cornWhat if farmers could input their farm data into a computer model that would help them decide whether to invest in drainage systems? Or how much fertilizer (enough, but not too much) to take maximum advantage of current soil moisture conditions?

A four-year research project funded by the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC) is looking at the interrelationship of drainage, soil type and farmer management decisions to the vigor of crop plants and,

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