Readers offer ideas to improve farmland conservation

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  • Updated: November 9, 2013 - 6:10 PM

In response to dwindling grassland and wetland habitat in Minnesota, and the resulting loss of game and nongame wildlife, Dennis Anderson recently asked readers to forward suggestions how to improve farmland conservation in the state. Three of the many responses are published below. Have ideas of your own? Forward them to danderson@startribune.com.

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davehougNov. 13, 1311:26 AM

Switch grass is just one example of cellulosic biomass that could be the nirvana for wildlife. = = = Kudos to whoever makes it profitable. However ASK if more acres per gallon of ethanol are needed. ASK if more truck trips per gallon are needed.

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apanschNov. 13, 13 2:49 PM

I'm a hunter but we also have a family farm. Farming is a business. Plain and simple. If your boss comes up to you and asks why aren't you utilizing 100% of your assets what is your answer? I will say though that putting buffers around sloughs and wetlands is great. We do it and we have great hunting and very little soil erosion. Everyone that is claiming that wetlands are being drained and filled in are exaggerating. You can't drain a wetland! it's illegal to drain something that has been considered a wetland for more than 5 years. Most often you're seeing tiling being done to help control soil moisture. You can't just put a tile in at a slough and drain it! That's the biggest misconception. Also Fertilizer and spraying technology has come a long way in just even the last two years. With field mapping and gps farmers and chemical companies are able to put the right amount of application down with out run off. Because to be honest runoff hurts the farmer also! They're losing money if something is just washed down stream. If you look at the data I'm sure you'll see less runoff now than you did even 3 years ago.

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imkirokNov. 15, 1310:24 AM

BWSR and the DNR need to start enforcing ditch laws, particularly with regard to buffer strips around drainage ditches. And tiling should be severely restricted, if not banned altogether. It's a terrible policy that is wreaking havoc on habitat, water levels, pollution levels, and flooding.

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