Water Summit

Living cover

The idea of living cover is not new but what species to use is a very short list indeed. Alfalfa is the most desirable because of the deep roots that tend to store water and shrink in dry periods, this allows water to penetrate up to 8 feet even in clay quickly until the roots swell from the water uptake. In the clay country of Wright County the constant corn / bean rotation has resulted in extreme erosion and hard ...more »

Submitted by (@markhayes)

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Fully fund Forever Green research at U of M into new cover crops and perennial crops

At the U of M the Forever Green initiative is leading the way in developing new cover crops and perennial crops that work in Minnesota's climate and developing markets for these crops. The U of M has the talent and infrastructure to move this work forward dramatically with adequate funding from the state. Without this research and outreach to farmers we cannot get the living cover on the land that we need to clean ...more »

Submitted by (@bobbyking)

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Full funding for UofM Forever Green Initiative

Fully fund the ​University of Minnesota's Forever Green Initiative ​to develop innovative, economically viable cropping systems that also protect our land, air and water. Millions of acres of agricultural land sits bare of vegetation for 8 months of the year in Minnesota. These lands are prone to erosion and runoff pollution. We need continuous living cover (like perennial grasses and cover crops) throughout Minnesota’s ...more »

Submitted by (@trussell)

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Water Summit

Soil Health

The USDA NRCS Soil Health initiative recognizes 4 basic principals; minimize tillage, keep soil covered, leave living roots in the ground year around, and increase crop diversity (both the bible and George Washington advocated a seven year rotation). Additionally, properly integrating livestock on the landscape dramatically improves soil health. Healthy soil reduces fertilizer needs, improves plant health, increases ...more »

Submitted by (@jimchamberlin)

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Assorted ideas

Buffers need to extend to lakes, manpower is adequate in govt agencies to accomplish goals they need to work harder. Voluntary compliance does is not effective, stewardship has to be publicly embraced by govt entities and leadership. Emphasis has to be that landowners need to give back to the land not always be reimbursed for helping out. Metro landowners need to also plant cover crops to provide habitat for pollinators ...more »

Submitted by (@wabana54)

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Water Summit

Reverse engineer agricultural watersheds to decrease nutrient losses to water

Research in the cornbelt has shown that nitrogen and phosphorus losses to waters from agriculture can be drastically reduced by re-engineering large-scale configuration of watersheds. This approach requires no change in the amount of agriculture done in a watershed and little change in practice but can yield great water quality benefits. Let's use approaches like that to fix water quality without harming agriculture.

Submitted by (@downing)

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need to generate understanding of the fate of contaminates.

We need better and more widespread understanding of what happens to all the fertilizers and chemicals that we apply to the land. Farmers, golf courses and home owners are pretty good about protecting and improving their soil, crops and lawns, but there is very little eduction or training on what happens to the water that receives the chemicals

Submitted by (@jeffreysbroberg)

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Include nitrogen reduction specifically in the Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program

The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certfication Program uses the UofM Best Management Practices as the standard but does not specifically require tile discharges to meet nitrogen standards. If nitrogen were more explicitly addressed, there would be added incentive to move toward perennial crops that use less nitrogen inputs.

Submitted by (@gpsabel)

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Conservation agriculture for future generations

Conservation agriculture (CA) Conservation agriculture evolved in North America following the devastating erosion and social upheavals of the 1930"s "dust bowls". Conservation agriculture started with simple, local innovations to mitigate soil erosion, progressed through various stages of improved soil management to no-tillage systems, then to conservation tillage systems, resulting finally in the more comprehensive Conservation ...more »

Submitted by (@donreicosky)

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Green Carpet Treatment

Lakeshore property prices are high, and never falling. But "Weekend Warriors" pay high taxes to enjoy what surrounding communities can't. And, those rural neighbors can't afford to clean-up the green slime in summer that kills fish and spreads disease. Employment there would be a big selling point to voters, though largely affecting lake home owners. And, constructing modern plumbing systems which are winter-hardy and ...more »

Submitted by (@gregory.clifford)

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Return to Your Roots

It wasn't that long ago that we had many more farmers that diversified their crops. They understood the need to care for the land. It wasn't about "Bigger, Better, More...More...More" A mono-crop culture is not sustainable. SWMN is a desert of black dirt that blows around and nothing grows without chemicals. There is a huge difference between soil (living) and dirt (dead). All of the chemical applications that are ...more »

Submitted by (@pfurshong)

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Trees are Green Infrastructure

Trees are important. They are beautiful. They provide oxygen, shade and homes for wildlife. They sequester carbon, purify our air, create a sense of community, make us safer and increase the value of our properties. They are also an integral part of our communities' green infrastructure and a large percentage of them are about to be killed by an invasive pest, the emerald ash borer. An 18" diameter tree will intercept ...more »

Submitted by (@karenz)

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