Minnesota landowners have some new options for complying with the state’s buffer strips law.
The 2015 law requires buffer strips of perennial vegetation between farm fields and waterways to filter out nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment. But it allows landowners to use alternative practices that have equivalent water quality benefits.
The Board of Water and Soil Resources on Thursday released a six-pack of options to help landowners and soil and water conservation districts do that. One includes participation in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program. Some others pertain to the slope of a farmer’s land, conservation tillage and cover crops.
November 1 is the deadline for public waters to have buffers in place. With seven months to go, 64 of Minnesota’s 87 counties are 60 to 100 percent in compliance.