Discovery Farms Minnesota is a farmer-led program to protect water. This program engages the farm community in learning about and evaluating the benefits of a wide range of agricultural practices. Farmers host individual sites and all work is done on Minnesota farms.
The mission of the Discovery Farms program is to gather information under real-world conditions and to provide practical, credible, site-specific information to support better farm management. Partners install and maintain equipment to measure sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus loss that occurs on farm fields. Information from this program generates a better understanding of the relationship between agricultural land management and water quality.
MDA is a Technical Partner
Discovery Farms Minnesota is coordinated by the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC), in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture MDA and the University of Minnesota Extension.
MDA is responsible for the following Discovery Farms Minnesota activities:
- Providing staff support and purchasing monitoring equipment.
- Identifying appropriate locations for monitoring equipment at selected farms.
- Developing procedures for site maintenance, sample collection, sample processing and sample analysis.
- Training local partners on standard operating procedures.
- Data Analysis- Quantifying annual, monthly and event specific runoff volumes and losses of sediment, nutrients and other selected constituents and providing annual water quality reports to MAWRC staff.
- Ensuring all data are captured and archived.
- Providing quality checks and quality control at all sites.