Water Summit

Change agriculture - an overview

The biggest water problem is the way Americans do agriculture. Giant corporations own giant farms, which are farmed with extensive use of irrigation water and chemicals, depleting soils, creating disease, destroying pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Subsidies, regulations, and tax structures encourage them. Solution: Support transition to crops requiring less water and fewer chemicals. Increase support for cover ...more »

Submitted by (@shodo0)

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Penalizing herbicide applicators

Herbicide applicators have a free pass to damage the waters of this state. When spraying they never turn off the spray when going over grass strips. Most if not all grass strips in this state are destroyed by senseless carelessness. There should be a $10,000 fine to any applicator destroying waterway grass strips.

Submitted by (@markhayes)

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Conservation irrigation appropriations permits

Authorize the DNR to issue "conservation appropriations permits" for agricultural irrigation. With a "conservation permit," an irrigator would have a legally higher priority for appropriations than non-conservation irrigators, in case of drought. As an example, the permit would be valid for 15 years. In Years 4, 9, and 14 of the permit, no appropriations would be allowed. The irrigator would plan in advance for dry-land ...more »

Submitted by (@jill.trescott)

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Reimburse Owners of Private and Public Wells for Water Treatment to Remove Agricultural Contaminants

Many non-agricultural water users must pay to treat drinking water that has been contaminated by agricultural fertilizer or pesticides. MDA estimates that, when the Township Testing program is complete, about 200 townships in the state will exceed the threshold of 5% or more private drinking water wells that do not meet MDH drinking water standards for nitrate. In some communities, more than half the private wells exceed ...more »

Submitted by (@jill.trescott)

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Align fertilizer nitrogen application regulations with existing feedlot rules.

Bring the regulatory framework for nitrogen fertilizer applications into alignment with that already existing for the combination of manure and fertilizer under the state feedlot rules. There is currently no limit on fertilizer nitrogen application rates if manure is not applied, however there is a rate limit if manure is applied. Ensure fertilizer dealer participation in both rates and timing BMPs through a state fertilizer ...more »

Submitted by (@evere003)

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Agricultural Drain Tile Must Be Tracked

We know that farmland drain tile funnels more water and pollutants into Minnesota's water bodies. Yet, no one is tracking - on a state-wide basis - the amount and location of drain tile projects. The Minnesota DNR must be adequately funded to determine the full extent of agricultural drain tiling in Minnesota.

Submitted by (@tcasey)

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Engage smaller 10-25 acre properties that don't qualify for farm programs.

There are many smaller parcels, where maybe the homestead and some marginal farm acres were sold off that are not eligible for any conservation programs, yet could play a larger role in the solution as they are scattered around everywhere, and typically do consist of marginal lands. Perennial plantings or prairie restoration and tree cover could help with both wind and water erosion, and the homeowner could get some help ...more »

Submitted by (@lovemywildlife)

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Ban aerial application of all pesticides labeled as "severely toxic" to aquatic organisms

Many restricted use pesticides, especially fungicides and insecticides, are labeled as "severely toxic" to aquatic organisms. Many are applied by aircraft and are subject to drift and runoff. Some are applied during the middle of the growing season when intense rainfall and runoff into streams, rivers and lakes creating the risk of fish kills. The aerial application of these pesticides should be banned in Minnesota. ...more »

Submitted by (@jeffreysbroberg)

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Encourage Actions to Better Handle Runoff in Urban and Rural Areas

Runoff is a huge problem for water quality. It includes routine runoff carrying urban and rural pollutants and the growing problem of major rain events. Because there are both urban and rural aspects to this, so practically all of us are part of the problem, we all need to be part of the solution. Solutions could reduce pollutants affecting the water, improve soil retention and quality and help recharge aquifers. ...more »

Submitted by (@johnpjames46)

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Soil Regeneration

We have been farming using Regenerative Management to grow our soils for a couple decades now. By recycling active Carbon and other nutrients back into the soil we have not only cured erosion and other environmental problems coming from our soils we have doubled the depth of our A Horizon top soils. In 2010 our place received 13 inches of rain during the flood event that nearly destroyed Zumbro Falls. We have demonstrated ...more »

Submitted by (@somgenerators)

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Total Precision Agriculture for Economic and Environmental Monitoring

Total Precision Ag is a system where all the inputs (water, seed, chemicals, etc) and outputs (bushels of grain, and quality of grain, chemical and water runoff and/infiltration) is measured and mapped across the fields down to the square foot. Less than 1% of MN Farmers have been able to implement this approach due to a lack of QUALITY...not quantity...yield monitors in combines. This approach provides the farmers ...more »

Submitted by (@bhuberty)

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