One of the few nonpoint (land use) pollution success stories in Minnesota comes form our larger cities (5,000+). These cities are treated like a point source for pollution and need to get a permit to discharge stormwater into area rivers. This process has spurred cities to do stormwater education with their residents and implement practices to hold and clean stormwater before releasing it to public waters. Most large ...more »
It is a common economic idea that when a product costs more, we tend to use less of it. When gasoline was $4.00/gallon a few years back, people were driving less and buying more fuel efficient cars. In Iowa, before they had their 5 cent bottle bill, bottle and cans ended up on roadways. Now that cans and bottle are worth 5 cents, no one throws them in the road ditches. We should apply the same approach to reducing ...more »
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 »
The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program is voluntary and requires some of the Best Management Practices to protect our water. If ethanol producers, who consume about 30% of our corn, required MAWQC to sell corn for ethanol the industry, and the farmers would show a real committment to rural water quality.
In the early 1970s, Americans were ready to make a change in how they allowed businesses to use our public waterways. After seeing a river light on fire, due to industrial pollution, people clamored for the government to regulate pipe-source pollution (from factories and wastewater plants). And guess what? It worked! Our rivers and lakes today have far less industrial pollution than they had in the 1970s. We succeeded ...more »
When polluting is free and conservation costs money, it's no surprise that we see more land use pollution and less conservation on the landscape in rural areas. In an state without effective regulations to address farm runoff and widespread fertilizer pollution to our rivers and groundwater, we shouldn't be surprised to see nitrate fertilizer pollution increasing in Minnesota rivers. Conventional farm soils also hold ...more »