Wisconsin Program Rewards Farmers Who Protect Water Quality
SAINT PAUL. (AP) Minnesota officials say their water-quality certification program is growing.
Reports say that the program now covers about 235,000 acres. It first launched as a pilot program three years ago and offers farmers some financial and technical help to change their farming practices in order to improve their water quality.
Though the program covers less than 1 percent of the state's 26 million acres of farmland, Deputy State Agriculture Commissioner Matthew Wohlman says its ``tremendous progress.''
Wohlman says about 370 farmers involved with the program have helped reduce the amount of sediment in Minnesota lakes and rivers, and saved millions of pounds of soil from eroding.
Some environmental groups say the program isn't doing enough. The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says the program should address nitrate pollution caused by farm drainage systems.