For those who earn their livelihood from the land, protecting soil is a top priority.
While there is always more that can be done, Minnesota farmers are recognized as among the best at adopting conservation measures to keep soil in place on their fields. Yet the myth that modern farming practices lead to massive soil loss persists.
The much heralded news that Lake Pepin is filling in with sediment directs added attention toward farms, particularly those in south central Minnesota, resulting in growing pressure to increase regulation of farms.
To help address this issue, the Minnesota Ag Water Resources Coalition will host an informational seminar on sediment transport and the role of agricultural drainage on June 24, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Country Inn and Suites in Mankato. The focus of the program, which features several nationally renowned researchers, is to provide farmers with the best information available to insure that water quality programs are directed toward real, not perceived problems.
"As a practical matter, farmers really need to know how water and soil move, which practices make a difference, and which ones don't," said Steve Sodeman, MAWRC chairman. "Millions of taxpayer dollars have gone into cleaning up the Minnesota River, yet there is disagreement on whether the river is getting cleaner or not. Our hope is to bring together the best scientists to help understand this complex system. "
The sediment seminar, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. The MAWRC is an educational organization comprised of 16 Minnesota farm groups.