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Minnesota's milestone in ag water quality certification

Minnesota's milestone in ag water quality certification

By Scout Nelson

In a significant achievement for sustainable agriculture, Minnesota's Ag Water Quality Certification program, under the stewardship of program manager Brad Jordahl Redlin, has reached the milestone of certifying 1 million acres. This achievement, although a year behind the initial goal set by Governor Tim Walz in 2020, signifies a major step in the state's commitment to environmental stewardship.

The program, which began in 2014, offers farmers the opportunity to implement conservation practices that enhance water quality and soil health, and in turn, can lead to added revenue streams and increased profitability. One notable success story is the integration of cover crops in a potato seed farm near Staples, Minnesota, resulting in significant soil conservation and reduced phosphorus loss.

A key element of the program is its voluntary nature, encouraging farmers to adopt practices that are beneficial for the environment while also being practical for their operations. The certification process involves an easy-to-navigate application, with support available for those needing assistance to meet the program's standards.

With a diverse range of farms participating, from large-scale operations to smaller, pasture-based farms, the program demonstrates its adaptability and relevance to various agricultural practices. The certification not only implies compliance with water quality laws and regulations but also serves as a testament to the community about the farm's commitment to conservation practices.

Looking forward, the program continues to accept applications, maintaining its voluntary and comprehensive approach to encompass all aspects of farm operations. This initiative reflects the growing awareness and willingness among farmers to engage in practices that safeguard environmental resources while enhancing their agricultural productivity.


Photo Credit: gettyimages-zms

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Categories: Minnesota, Sustainable Agriculture

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