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Water Quality Milestone in Mower County

January 18, 2018 06:24 PM

(ABC 6 News) - A milestone today for a program that is in itself a milestone. Not only because of what it's trying to do but because of who's trying to do it. 

"Everyone has come together to really rally around the challenges that are feeding the world but doing it in an environmentally friendly way," said Matt Carstens.

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It's a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership in Minnesota, based on the premise that together, we're stronger. It's called the Cedar River Watershed Project. 

"We're combing private business, ag retail with local government as well as some state government programs that are working on water quality," said Justin Hanson. 

"To not only ensure a sustainable food production system but also help farmers to adopt new conservation practices to maintain profitability here in southern Minnesota," said Matthew Wohlman. 

Farmers in the watershed work with their partners like CFS and Land O'Lakes Sustain to help implement precision AG practices that address water quality issues. Farmers can become certified in a program that rewards them with specially designated technical and financial assistance. On Thursday, three producers in the Cedar River Watershed District were certified.

"That now takes us to 300,000 acres statewide, 512 producers across the state that have been certified,' said Wohlman. 

And the effort is having an impact. 

"A reduction of 23 million pounds of sediment entering into our water bodies, a reduction of 14-thousand pounds of phosphorous," said Wohlman.

"It doesn't matter if you're in the public or private side, we're all here for the environment for feeding people and prospering as a group," said Carstens. 
 


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