The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has selected two projects to receive Clean Water Fund research contracts. Thirteen proposals, totaling over $2.8 million in requested funds, were submitted. The two selected projects total $556,703.
Dr. Gary Sands, University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, Twin Cities, was awarded for his research project on “Improving Design, Performance, and Implementation of Saturated Buffers.” Saturated buffers have only recently been used to remove nitrogen from subsurface drainage water at the edge of agricultural fields. At this time there are few publications that document their performance and use as a drainage Best Management Practice (BMP). There are also limited resources to assist with design planning. This project seeks to increase both the effectiveness and use of saturated buffers as a BMP to reduce nitrogen loss from artificially drained agricultural lands. This project will develop a planning tool to enable local professionals and conservation staff to integrate key site information into the decision-making process for siting and designing saturated buffers.
Dr. Jeffrey Strock, University of Minnesota’s Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton, was awarded for his research project on “Integrated Landscape Management for Agricultural Production and Water Quality.” This project establishes a site where the impact of multiple, combined BMPs can be measured. Nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment will be monitored individually and cumulatively from in-field, edge-of-field and in-stream BMPs. Research data collected will be used to determine the hydrologic, nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment reduction potential of these integrated strategies and their potential for meeting Minnesota's Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals. Additionally, the project will demonstrate the ability to meet the dual goals of maintaining farm productivity while improving watershed conditions and water quality.
Additional information is online at mda.state.mn.us/cleanwaterfund/research.
Margaret Hart, Communications Director