Buffer Bill Gets Needed Adjustments

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) is pleased Gov. Mark Dayton listened to the needs of agriculture and has signed the bills amending the 2015 buffer law. Senate File 2503, which passed through the Senate with a vote of 61-0 and House File 3000, which passed through the House with a vote of 105-24, brings needed direction to farmers and producers as they comply with the law.

Changes to the bill include:

  • Eliminating jurisdiction of private ditches from the law
  • Shifting some jurisdiction over buffers from state to local agencies
  • Defining public waters as used in the law are those waters that are on the public waters inventory as provided in statute 103G.201
  • Identifying that the width of the buffer on public drainage systems must be measured from the crown of the constructed channel or to the crown of the soil bank, whichever is greater

MSGA President Paul Freeman said the signing of the buffer bill was important because it added clarity and gave farmers’ direction.

“MSGA is glad all parties worked together to clean up the language of the buffer law,” he said. “This is something we said we would accomplish for the past year, and today our hard work paid off.”

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