ST. PAUL (WJON News) - More than one million acres of Minnesota farmland are now enrolled in the voluntary agricultural water quality program.

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Minnesota Governor Tim Walz set the goal of a million enrolled acres in 2020 and made the announcement Friday at Eric Heins farm near Altura.

Heins says water quality on the Mississippi is one of the reasons he became certified in the program.

I can't think of an area in Minnesota where water quality could be more important than right here on the bluffs above the Mississippi River. When farming in an area where any excess water runs directly to a stream or river, we have to be sure that the water is as clean as possible if it leaves our farm. The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program helps us do that.

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program helps farmers and landowners deploy new conservation practices to keep sediment, topsoil, and other agricultural products from entering the state’s lakes and rivers.

Governor Walz thanked farmers who have stepped up to the challenge.

This program ensures our lakes, rivers, and drinking water are protected for future generations. Farmers understand the need for this better than anyone – their bottom line depends on conservation and a stable climate. Our farmers are stewards of our natural resources, and they’re stepping up in a big way to implement sustainable practices that will protect the water, land, and community around them.

Since the program started in 2014:

  • 1,400 Minnesota farmers have become certified in the program.
  • 2,700 new conservation practices have been added.
  • 48,000 tons of sediment was held back from Minnesota rivers.
  • 141,000 tons of soil per year was saved.
  • 59,000 pounds of phosphorous per year was diverted from lakes and rivers.

For more information on becoming water quality certified, find more information at the MyLandMyLegacy website here. 



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