The Minnesota Department of Agriculture received $1 million of Clean Water Funds to support the Forever Green Agricultural Initiative at the University of Minnesota for fiscal year 2016. Eleven projects which focus on incorporating perennial and winter annual crops into existing agricultural practices were selected through a request for proposal process administered by the University. The MDA oversees the distribution of funds and coordinates reporting on progress results and outcomes.
Many of these new crops could fit into a corn and soybean rotation by providing ground cover after harvest and before next spring’s emergence. Winter annuals and cover crops grow between the time when annual crops are harvested in the fall and a new planting is established in the spring. This is the time when fields are bare, and most vulnerable to erosion and nutrient loss.