by West Central Tribune
May 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm in West Central Tribune
ST. PAUL Minnesota city and conservation leaders say farmers contribute most of the pollution to state waters but do too little to prevent the damage or fix it.
Tags: MPCA, Outdoors, Politics, region 19 Comments »
“Such as adding buffer strips of plants near water to reduce pollution”
What is this going to do when all drainage tile runs into the ditches anyways?
Hot debate. What do you think? 21 15
Grass buffers keep sediment from surface erosion from getting into the ditches. They also help reduce sediment from wind erosion. While planting buffers is voluntary, the landowners are compensated for their participation. Currently they can enroll in a 15 year CRP contract which pays a land rental rate based on the soil type and also pays up to 90% of the cost of site prep, seed & seeding. Also, the State of MN will pay an up-front payment if the landonwer will enroll the acres into a perpetual conservation easement. Currently in this part of the state, the total payment comes to the $7,000-$8,000/acre range.
In addition the reduction of sediment in the ditches will help with ditch cleanout costs by lengthening the time between cleanouts–a savings to those folks paying into the ditch system.
Landowners who are interested need to visit their local NRCS/SWCD office for a specific quote on the payments for their property.
Like or Dislike: 20 7
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Nothing is going to change the damage done to Land, Water, and Air, till some how or another us Americans can stop presz BHO from giving, spending, etc., trillions of our income tax dollars to these special friends. The Democrat-FARMER- Labor (aka DFLers ) Party. Had HE not caused this 17-18 trillion dollar deficit with HIS poor management ability, no way would Farm Prices of Eight Thousand dollars a acre (just recent a farm sold by Benson) be that high. All those trillions of dollars are bound to make those farming plant each and every inch of ground they can after draining, tiling. .Pure Gold, the heck with the rest of it. Am sure the DFLer from the 7th District (C.P.) got presz b o’s word, policy, out to the faithful the last few days while he was in Mn. campaigning. Am afraid we have to live with it, if WE Americans can’t control what presz b o is doing to all of us.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 17 36
I think I have the perfect solution. Lets all stop eating, then the farmers won’t have any reason to raise all that food for us! I wonder how many people would be complaining about the farmers pollution if they didn’t have enough food to feed their families? The truth is most farmers are the best conservators of the land, if they don’t take care of the land they use it won’t produce for them. When was the last time you as a citizen thought of how much packaging goes into the landfill, because you want convenience??? Think about it.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 37 20
Goodbye Freedom–don’t think the folks in the article or I suggested an “all or nothing” scenario. If a section of land has a drainage ditch running thru it and the farmer/landowner puts a 50 ft buffer on the entire mile of ditch on both sides, he would be taking 12 acres out of production leaving 628 acres of cropland–98% remains cropland and 2% is in a conservation program. And of course many sections don’t even have a ditch so 100% would remain in cropland so lets say we start with seeing of taking 1% of all land and putting it in conservation programs causes mass starvation. How is the idea of putting 1% of land into conservation programs unreasonable–the 1% that is hilly and sandy and erodes easily, the 1% that stays wet no matter how much tile is put in, the 1% next to drainage ditches–the 1% that is the least productive but will still net a nice payment if put into a voluntary program.
I’d be happy be seeing what kind of effect 1% would have….
Hot debate. What do you think? 19 15
I agree that marginal land (hilly, light soil, etc) should be considered for some type of Conservation program. I think if you look around Kandiyohi County we have a good amount of that type of land set up that way. And, 1% more land put into conservation will not cause worldwide panic of a food shortage. But how are you going to tell a farmer, who probably is a multi-generation owner of his/her land, that we need to take some land away because we feel you are not doing your job in taking care of it? And, we will pay you less than the market is paying for that land or what you can make per acre by raising food because we are the government? To me, its the system that needs attention. For right now, us farmers are doing what we can to take care of our soil and water. I think we may need it later to keep feeding a growing population.
Like or Dislike: 12 8
coming from an ag family I would have to say yes and no to your comment. Yes, farmers care for their land but in the end they are business men first and need to make the maximum profit they can from the land. I cringe at all of the drain tile that is and keeps being installed. That old saying ‘if only knew then what we know now’ is very true!
Like or Dislike: 21 8
Well, boys and girls, I grew up next to the Redwood and Minnesota rivers, and from experience, I wouldn’t call either one fit to swim in, much less drink from.
The Redwood, at one time, was one of the prime smallmouth bass rivers in the state, I fished it with my grandpa and we had pretty good luck. But that was in the late ’50′s.
The Minnesota, as far back as I can remember, has been nothing but a mudhole. Nothing but catfish and gar. Maybe a mooneye, now and then. Toss a rock in it, and it’s like stirring up potter’s slip. I think you’d about choke to death in it before you’d drown. Except at Deep Eddy, north of Belview.
There, you’d most likely be killed by the smell.
Hot debate. What do you think? 17 17
there are strides being made in cleaning up the rivers bac especially the MN … I don’t think I’ll see it in my lifetime, but it is happening.
Like or Dislike: 13 4
I think it interesting that the article didn’t seem to have much “expert” reference. Those complaining are “city and conservation leaders”, I would argue that most unfiltered runoff comes from streets. Water in fields at least has a chance for some filtration, what filters street runoff? Nothing.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 10
Bac, as for the Minnesota river being fit to swim in, what is it in your mind that makes those rivers “unfit”? Is it dirt, pesticides, or some other pollutant. Is dust a pollutant to you? Do you know the EPA tried to regulate the dust generated by farmers combines and tractors during harvest? The American people and parts of the government, are so far removed and detatched from farming, many know nothing about where food comes from, say nothing about how it’s grown.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 10
a court Lawyer Sen Amy K was put on the Ag committee by presz b o . BET she knows beans about farming.
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 21
alas GF that is true, people don’t understand the food chain and farming … I do. I’m a ‘city slicker’ these days but my roots hearken to the farm. Guess I’ve never heard any farmer’s talk about the EPA and that proposal so they must have felt it wasn’t serious because I would have gotten an earful by a lot of farmers! but back to your mention of not understanding farming … most youth believe the milk magically appears in the supermarket as does bread, etc. They wouldn’t know the difference between a combine or a tractor if it bit them in their you know what …. but in regards to the MN river … there are tons of pollutants in it … the mercury levels are sky high as well (not sure if they have dropped as of recently, I haven’t been paying attention for the last 2-3 years) … the one thing I will tell you is that I won’t eat ANY fish that comes out of the MN River!
Like or Dislike: 16 4
Ok, the mercury level is high, maybe so, where does that come from in relation to farming?
Like or Dislike: 17 7
I doubt the mercury level is high due to farming, but there are so many old town dumps along both the MN and Redwood rivers that I am certain that the mercury is coming from those.
Just the Redwood Falls area had the old town dump on a bluff less than 300 yards from the river. Anything and everything went into that dump. When it was finally closed in the ’70′s, it was just bulldozed over. No containment. Small towns and farms upstream were pouring untreated sewage into it until just a few years ago. Some still are.
I don’t know when the dam in Redwood Falls was built, but it’s 60′ high, and served as a hydroelectric for some time. Until the silt built up behind it and rendered the thing useless. Used to be a 60 foot deep lake behind it. Now, it’s not more than four feet deep.
As far as the Minnesota river, the DNR declared any fish caught downstream of New Ulm unfit to eat, at least 25 years ago.
Like or Dislike: 11 9
Hope this link works:
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Just click on ‘M’ and scroll down.
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My fellow humans of planet earth,
What is going on with everyone? To get this out of the way, I am a farmer. Proud to be a 4th generation farmer and hope to have many generations more following me in the future. I am actually mad right now that my farming brothers and sisters in MN, and for that matter the country, are being singled out as the MAJOR problem with water quality. Before this goes any farther, I would invite you to visit this link: http://www.swac.umn.edu/ExtensionandOutreach/DiscoveryFarms/index.htm
This is a link to a U of MN study of a real working farm drainage system and also the monitoring of the City Of Willmar storm water runoff. The findings may surprise many people, it did for me.
All I can say is that farming practices are improving all the time. Conservation tillage, better nutrient placement and usage, less pesticides/insecticides added, better genetics for healthier plants, and automated guidance are just a few things that make farming better for the environment. As far as field drainage, the soil is a pretty darn good filter to clean the water as it seeps into the field tile. Plus a controlled water relief system keeps surface runoff to a minimum, which does more damage. We, as farmers, care the most about the land and the water in our environment. Why would we want to kill and destroy our way of life? Our way to own a business and contribute to our communities with money and tax dollars?
Pointing fingers does no one any good. All we ask in the farming community is that EVERYONE takes a look at what we are ALL doing to help or hurt our soil and water.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 6
You care about wildlife as you drain every slough in sight & destroy the habitat for waterfowl? Give me a break. Cargill has hijacked the food system & farmers have had to go along with the obsession with profits.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 21
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