The Governor's concept of increasing the size of buffer strips along the state's waterways will be the topic of a discussion at the March 11 Waseca County Farmer Forum at FarmAmerica, the Mankato Free Press reports.
In Dayton's buffer strip plan topic of Farmer Forum, Tim Krohn writes:
Gov. Mark Dayton's January proposal calling for vegetative buffer strips along the shores of every body of water in the state continues to be a hot topic among environmental and agriculture groups. What isn't yet clear is what a buffer strip program would look like.
"Everyone is dying to find out what it is. The fact is we don't know," said Jason Garms, who was recently appointed to the new position of agricultural program liaison in the Department of Natural Resources.
"The governor wants to see 50 feet of vegetation around all waterways. That's the simple notion but it gets complicated when you get into the details. I know people want more details, but that's yet to come."
Garms will speak about the governor's proposal at the Waseca County Farmer Forum at Farmamerica on March 11. (Registration is needed by March 4. Call Shelley Hyatt at Planning and Zoning at 507-835-0653.)
By the date of Garms' talk, a bill may or may not yet be introduced in the Legislature laying out more details of what might end up in any legislation lawmakers pass. Questions about whether it will rely on voluntary participation, if there will be funding attached and what agencies would run the program are all of interest to farmers. Fifty foot buffer strips along drainage ditches, for example, would eat up valuable production land.
"What we're hearing from all groups and individuals is that they are pro water quality and for buffers as a practice, but the devil's in the details," Garms said.
Read more at the Mankato Free Press.
Photo: A field in western Minnesota where the farmer didn't follow buffer regulations.
If you appreciate Bluestem Prairie, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen P.O. Box 108, Maynard MN 56260) or use the paypal button below:
Email subscribers can contribute via this link to paypal; use email sally.jo.sorensen at gmail.com as recipient.