The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recently released reports detailing the health of the Minnesota River and the actions needed to reduce sediment and other pollutants impacting it. Minnesota’s corn farmers have until Sept. 20 to submit comments detailing on-farm practices used today that protect the long-term health of the river. Corn farmers who farm in the Minnesota River Basin are encouraged to submit comments.
Released earlier this year, the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report details the Minnesota River’s declining health due to rising sediment, higher flows and eroding fields and streambanks. The study also showed the bodies of water are not meeting water quality standards for bacteria, sediment, chloride, phosphorus and nitrogen. The Water Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report used data from the TMDL to propose actions that will help cut the river’s sediment levels in half.
To view the reports, click here.
Minnesota’s corn farmers are asked to share the best management practices they are using to improve nitrogen use efficiency and reduce run-off, as well as actions taken to improve soil health. Cover crops and conservation tillage are two reduction strategies identified in the WRAPS report that would be helpful to include in comments. Farmers are also encouraged to discuss precision agriculture technology used to assist in managing nutrients.
By identifying practices already in place on the farm, Minnesota’s corn farmers can better inform state agencies of the actions taken proactively to protect waterways. Raising awareness of these practices is crucial in determining future strategies implemented by the state.
Instructions to submit comments can be found here.