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My Water WS - Erin Meier

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North Central Region One Water Action Forum

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My Water WS - Erin Meier

  1. 1. North Central Region One Water Action Forum Session: My Water - Connecting Farmers, Communities and the Public to Source Water Protection December 13, 2018 Indianapolis, Indiana Erin Meier, Director Green Lands Blue Waters
  2. 2. greenlandsbluewaters.org GREEN LANDS BLUE WATERS  A regional collaborative  working to improve soil & water quality  by increasing Continuous Living Cover  on the Upper Mississippi River Basin agricultural landscape
  3. 3. greenlandsbluewaters.org Many Partners
  4. 4. greenlandsbluewaters.org Continuous Living Cover (CLC)
  5. 5. greenlandsbluewaters.org GREEN LANDS BLUE WATERS • CLC = Combination of summer row crops, cover crops, winter annuals & perennials to keep fields covered & rooted in place year-round • 5 GLBW CLC Strategies *Agroforestry *Cover Crops *Perennial Biomass *Perennial Forages *Perennial Grains
  6. 6. greenlandsbluewaters.org CLC Benefits • Water quality - Cleaner surface & ground water • Water quantity - Mediation of significant weather events • Improved soil health, erosion control, nutrient management • Carbon sequestration & climate mitigation/adaptation • Natural pest management • More habitat for wildlife and pollinators
  7. 7. greenlandsbluewaters.org 3-10 > 10 Well water NO3 (ppm) • 13% of private wells exceeded safe drinking limit statewide • 30% in central sand plains Minnesota Nitrate Issues
  8. 8. greenlandsbluewaters.org Too Costly to Treat
  9. 9. greenlandsbluewaters.org • 1.2 million acres total • 360,000 acres considered highly vulnerable • 115,000 acres of row crops in highly vulnerable wellhead protection areas Wellhead Protection Areas
  10. 10. greenlandsbluewaters.org MN collaboration for source water protection Kernza®?
  11. 11. greenlandsbluewaters.org The Land Institute in Kansas and U of MN are developing a commercially viable perennial grain/forage/biomass crop. TLI registered the trade name Kernza®. Increasing grain yield and biomass. Enhancing grain quality for food. Direct Domestication Wild Perennial Perennial Grain Intermediate Wheatgrass
  12. 12. Jerry Glover of The Land Institute: Photo by Jim Richardson
  13. 13. greenlandsbluewaters.org
  14. 14. greenlandsbluewaters.org Jungers et al., Reduced nitrate leaching in a perennial grain crop compared to maize in the Upper Midwest, USA. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 272 (2019) 63–73. Nitrate content in soil water 50 cm below soil surface in corn, Kernza, and switchgrass when fertilized with N rates optimize for grain production in 2014 - averages across three sites. Soil water nitrate concentration beneath annual and perennial crops
  15. 15. greenlandsbluewaters.org Nitrogen fertilizer Groundwater Nitrogen Leaching Plantuptake Root and soil N cycling Root and soil N cycling Plantuptake Commodities Commodities - Grain & High Quality Forage Annual Row Crops vs. Perennial IWG Kernza®
  16. 16. greenlandsbluewaters.org • Central Lakes College - Central Sand Plains, 4 ac • Cold Spring – DWSMA, Central Sand Plains, 20 ac • Verdi – Lincoln/Pipestone WHPA, 54 ac • Edgerton – WHPA, 40 ac • Chatfield – WHPA, Karst topography, 13 ac Research Sites
  17. 17. greenlandsbluewaters.org Partnerships The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Rural Water Association recognized Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water’s ongoing commitment to protecting drinking water with a Source Water Protection Award. Martin Larsen, Olmsted County SWCD, speaks about soil health during the Kernza field day in Chatfield. Dennis Fuchs (Stearns County SWCD), Farmer Brandon Dingmann, Jake Jungers (U of MN Agronomy)
  18. 18. greenlandsbluewaters.org Team • UMN: JACOB JUNGERS*, Craig Sheaffer, Jessica Gutknecht, Don Wyse, David Mulla • The Land Institute: Lee DeHaan, • Minnesota Rural Water Association: Aaron Meyer & Scott Hanson • Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture Margaret Wagner, Bruce Montgomery, Ryan Perish • Minnesota Department of Health: Randy Ellingboe & Mark Wettlaufer • City of Chatfield: Brian Burkholder & Joel Young • Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water: Jason Overby • Central Lakes College: Keith Olander, Hannah Barrett • Agricultural Utilization Research Institute: Rod Larkins & Goutham Vemuri Funding • Minnesota Legislative Trust Fund for Natural Resources • Clean Water Fund – Forever Green Initiative • Institute for Renewable Energy and the Environment • The Land Institute and Malone Family Foundation • Minnesota Department of Agriculture Acknowledgements*
  19. 19. greenlandsbluewaters.org THANK YOU Erin Meier, Director Green Lands Blue Waters tegtm003@umn.edu 612-625-3709

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