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Spring Flooding

Spring has finally arrived and with it so has flooding here in the Red River Valley. Although we have had and ideal melt that has mitigated much of the flooding impacts, we still have issues with surface water runoff. This is due to the meltwater not being able to be fully absorbed by frozen soil. When runoff flows along the ground, it picks up soil sediments and contaminants like petroleum, pesticides, and fertilizers that become discharged into rivers and lakes as nonpoint source pollution. The sedimentation and pollution can have major effects on water quality and wildlife.

Using proper disposal of unused contaminants, good soil tillage plans, and following label instructions for application of herbicides and fertilizer will all help reduce the amount carried by surface water. Another great way to help with this potential problem is having vegetated buffers along our waterways. Fortunately in Minnesota, the Buffer Law was signed into law by Governor Dayton in 2017. Amendments enacted to this law also help to address concerns over the potential spread of invasive species. Personal responsibility and sensible legislation like the Buffer Law can go a long way in helping to maintain clean water for future generations.

Blaine Keller

Services Site Manager

Bluestem Farm

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