With more than 10,000 lakes and nearly countless miles of rivers and streams, water is an important resource for Minnesota. Water quality and nutrient management issues also hold the potential to impact every farmer in Minnesota.
"Water issues will be something that farmers across the entire state will have to deal with if they aren't already," says Theresia Gillie, Hallock, a director with the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. "We as farmers need to be proactive to learn about what potential legislation is coming, to understand what our responsibilities could be whether it's in regard to tiling, irrigation or nutrient management."
"Water quality issues should rank really high as an area of concern for farmers," says Joe Smentek, director of environmental affairs for Minnesota Soybean. "It's definitely an area where plenty of groups are giving their attention."
MSGA is holding a series of grower meetings to help farmers learn more about water and nutrient research. Farmers can learn what drainage, nutrient management and water certification realities could be looming and how to take advantage of what they're already doing.
These free events begin at 9 a.m. each day and include lunch. Events are scheduled for:
•March 24: Rochester, Clarion Inn
•March 25: Mankato, Country Inn & Suites
•March 26: Morris, Edson Auditorium, UM-Morris
•March 27: St. Cloud, Rivers Edge Convention Center
•March 28: Thief River Falls, Best Western
The agenda includes information from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regarding their recent nutrient management report, results of a drainage study conducted by the University of Minnesota and an expert panel made up of state and federal agriculture and environment officials.
"This will impact every farmer, whether you're a crop farmer or involved with animal agriculture," adds Gillie. "We as farmers need to be aware, pay attention and share our concerns."
Following the water meetings, producers can also take part in a grain handling technology session hosted by IntelliAir.
For more information, visit www.mnsoybean.org