WASECA, Minn. (KEYC) — The Cannon River Agricultural Collaborative is a joint effort between private and government agencies to preserve the Cannon River watershed.
The Cannon River watershed consists of six counties: Dakota, Goodhue, Le Sueur, Rice, Steele and Waseca and the collaborative is hoping to keep soils healthy, water clean and maintain a thriving agricultural system.
Partners in the collaborative include CFS, Land O' Lakes, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program and others. The partners work with farmers in the area to help them implement environmentally friendly practices such as minimal tillage and cover crops.
“People that are starting to use cover crops are getting really excited about the results they’re seeing. They’re seeing less erosion, they’re seeing better soil conditions, the covers help suppress weeds, a lot of farmers after a couple years are starting to see yield increases,” said Steve Pahs, district manager for the Rice County Soil Water and Conservation District.
Farmers can become certified in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program by using practices that help improve water quality, essentially adopting practices that will become state rules in the next ten years.