Forty percent of tested water bodies in Minnesota do not meet basic water quality standards. Which means some of our lakes, rivers and streams aren’t safe for swimming or fishing.
Water pollution comes from a variety of sources—including agriculture. Rainwater from cropland runs off into our waterbodies and can carry manure, fertilizers, ammonia, pesticides and other pollutants.
Field Stewards encourages and financially rewards farmers for protecting water quality on their land. Field Steward farmers use a wide and flexible range of farming practices like these to reach certification standards:
Cover crops—like rye grass, tillage radishes or small grains are planted to help manage soil erosion and soil runoff from fields. Cover crops can be planted in conjunction with traditional crops like corn and soybeans. They hold the soil in place and take up excess fertilizer, keeping it out of our streams and rivers.
Conservation buffers, or vegetative buffers, are strips of land maintained in permanent vegetation. Plants in the buffer strip help to filter out pesticides, fertilizer and sediment that runoff from farm fields.
Conservation tillage is the practice of leaving the previous year’s crop residue—like corn stalks—on fields before and after planting the next crop to reduce soil erosion and runoff.
AS CONSUMERS, WE HAVE THE POWER TO SUPPORT CLEAN WATER THROUGH OUR PURCHASES.
PARTICIPATING FOOD COMPANIES
Food companies purchase certificates to support water quality friendly practices on corn and soybean farms in their supply chains. Current Field Stewards participants include: