Water Summit

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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Water Summit

Tax incentives for agricultural land with permanent vegetation

Provide tax discounts, rebates, or other subsidies for agricultural land with permanent, perennial vegetation planted and maintained.

Submitted by (@jill.trescott)

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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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Water Summit

Apply more scientific rigor to water issues

While politics inevitably will be important in getting people to change their behaviors to treat MN's water better, change of both the voluntary and legislative types is more likely to be possible if scientific rigor is applied to water issues. I'm no scientist, just a concerned citizen, but I am hearing that that has not been the case on the following two issues. One is the Agricultural Water Qualify Certification ...more »

Submitted by (@johnpjames46)

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Water Summit

Finish mn hogs with 10% intermediate wheat grass ration.

MN finishes 8 million hogs a year. Using perennial crops for just 10% of their finishing rations (for example: intermediate wheat grass) would put 330,000 acres of new, profitable perennial crops on the land.

Submitted by (@trussell)

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Water Summit

20% electricity from perennials by 2030

Making electricity from perennial crops (using switch grass or other crops co-fired with modern gas or coal facilities) is an equitable way to clean up water and improve habitat while ensuring profitability for farm operations.

Submitted by (@trussell)

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Water Summit

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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Water Summit

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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Water Summit

Perennial cover is key!

Minnesota made an important step in the right direction by passing buffer legislation last year. But in order to ensure clean water for future generations we need to do much more. Our ultimate goal should be to have no less than ten percent of the land in each of Minnesota's watersheds in perennial cover. Research confirms that planting small strips of native prairie on agricultural land protects water quality by dramatically ...more »

Submitted by (@kuchenma)

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Managed Drainage/Conservation Drainage

We need to realize that dealing with water quantity impacts on our surface water in new and innovative ways on our agricultural landscape is one way we can reduce peak flows. The future use of tile to transport water off farm fields needs to be done differently than in the past and it can be done. Managed drainage is a reality and has been proven to work well on certain landscapes. During drought it can even maintain ...more »

Submitted by (@sesparlin)

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Water Summit

Establish a State Perennial Ethanol Standard - 50% by 2026

Today, about a third of Minnesota's corn goes exclusively to ethanol production. That's no accident - its driven by policy (Federal Renewable Fuel Standard). New technology now allows us to make ethanol from other crops, including perennial crops like native grasses that are great for water, soil health, climate and habitat. I propose that we modify our existing fuel standards to require that at least 50% of ethanol blended ...more »

Submitted by (@trussell)

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