Thanks to renewed funding, Minnesota farmers will continue to see rewards for taking steps to prevent pollution by minimizing runoff from their land into local waterways. A statewide voluntary program that gives landowners financial incentives for reducing pollution has received a new nine-million-dollar federal grant. Leif Fixen follows agriculture trends for The Nature Conservancy. He says they’re excited that more farmers can now be part of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program. He calls it a good road map for those who want to reduce their environmental impact.

“The types of practices that the Ag Water Quality Certification Program promotes reduce and prevent both sediment and nutrients from getting into our lakes, rivers, and streams.”

Those practices include using cover crops and buffer zones and managing the nutrients or fertilizers used on farmland. While the number of farmers in Minnesota has been on the decline, the latest U-S-D-A Census of Agriculture says the state’s average farm size increased by more than 20 acres between 1997 and 2017. Bigger farms have prompted concerns about more pollution.