Implementation of buffers depends on timely release of maps
The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) this week joined Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation and Minnesota Farmers Union in sending a letter to Gov. Dayton asking to expedite the release of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources buffer protection maps in order to allow farmers, farmland owners, local governments and county Soil and Water Conservation Districts to work cooperatively on implementation, knowing that public waters and public ditches as defined in state law will constitute the areas affected.
MSGA welcomes Gov. Mark Dayton’s decision to instruct the DNR to halt its mapping of private ditches under the 2015 buffer legislation. Water quality is an important topic for all Minnesota farmers. MSGA recognizes the need for clean water, and farmers are concerned with keeping inputs on the land and not in the waterways. Inputs are expensive, so keeping them in the fields is important to farmers’ bottom lines and to water quality.
“We’re glad Gov. Mark Dayton addressed one of the concerns with buffer implementation,” said MSGA President Paul Freeman. “But we also recognize there is more work to do, and MSGA will continue to be a leader in the discussion about water quality.”
MSGA will continue to openly discuss ways to address water quality. This includes further discussions on buffers, looking at alternative practices that are more apt to protect Minnesota waterways and working with industry partners to look at other conservation practices that positively impact the environment.