Vilsack launches Minn. farm water quality program - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Vilsack launches Minn. farm water quality program

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- Four Minnesota watersheds have been selected for a new pilot project offering farmers incentives to reduce water pollution from their operations.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Gov. Mark Dayton and other officials in St. Paul Monday to announce details of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program. Certified farmers will agree to adopt conservation practices to control erosion and runoff in return for guarantees that they won't be subjected to stricter rules for 10 years.

The pilot areas are the Whitewater River watershed in southeastern Minnesota, the Middle Sauk River watershed in central Minnesota, the Elm Creek watershed in south-central Minnesota and the Whiskey Creek watershed in northwestern Minnesota.

Officials say the goal is to use these four pilot areas to test and refine the program.

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