Announcing: Using Perennial Plantings to Improve Water Quality Workshop

We are excited to announce two major workshops in Summer 2014 to understand the how perennial plantings/systems can improve water quality. Save the dates!

  • Fairmont, MN: June 24, 2014
  • Glenwood, MN: July 16, 2014

Download a flyer and the agenda or register here.

Each day-long workshop will include presentations by local professionals, University Minnesota Extension Faculty and University of Minnesota Researchers. The workshops are designed to help farmers and landowners, including natural resource professionals, implement perennial plantings that would improve water quality and achieve other ecosystem services.


Topics and descriptions:

1. Agroforestry options for your farming operations: Learn more about agroforestry options to be incorporated on your farming operations to improve water quality while realizing an increase in economic profitability. As an integrated systems involving growing and woodies and crops together, agroforestry practices such as riparian buffers, windbreaks, alley cropping, forest farming and silvopasture can be designed and planned strategically with your traditional farming to diversify income while achieving conservation benefits.

2. Ways to restore wetlands on your farm to improve water quality: Several types of wetland projects have been implemented in Martin County over the past decade including restored prairie pothole basins, reconnection of an oxbow cutoff by channelization and construction of treatment cells for tile drainage water treatment. Each has distinct hydrologic and nutrient removal benefits and issues. Learn effectiveness of various channel restoration approaches on hydrologic storage, sediment, phosphorus and nitrogen removal.

3. Channel restoration decision support tool: How does it relate to my farm? Learn how a channel restoration decision support tool can be applied in your riparian corridor areas to reduce sediment and phosphorus loading to streams and to improve biotic habitat. The channel restoration tool combines GIS, field survey and on-site assessment procedures to prioritize potential stream restoration and management actions.

4. Using Cover Crops to improve water quality, soil health and productivity of future crops: Strategic placement of cover crops in the landscape can provide maximum environmental benefits. At this presentation, learn the use of cover crops for improving water quality, soil health and productivity of future crops.

5. Herbaceous and woody perennials: Can they be integrated for production and conservation benefits in the farm? Learn how herbaceous crops and woody perennials can be integrated as one unit for production and conservation benefits. Learn the steps and strategies needed to establish cover crops in your farm to protect soil from erosion, thereby improving water quality and enhancing soil health. As an agroforestry practice, alley cropping systems have been proposed as a sustainable means of biomass feedstock production that support the development of bioproducts and bioenergy industries while also providing critical ecosystem services such as water quality improvement, wildlife habitat, nutrient remediation and carbon sequestration.

6. Decision support tools to restore impaired waters: Demonstrating usability and applicability in the farm: Learn how the hydrologic and economic tool can be used to identify suite of best management practices that could apply in your farm that can reduce nutrient loading and improving water quality at an economical cost.

7. (Glenwood only) Grazing your woods: Problems and solutions: Hear how uncontrolled grazing can degrade your woods for decade, but how a well-managed system can improve wood and forage quality. At this presentation, you will also learn approaches of integrating trees in your marginal pasture land to be suitable for grazing while realizing economic opportunity.

8. Controlling and managing Native and Invasive Species in my farm land: Hear how native and invasive species affects functionality of your farm from a local expert. At this topic, learn strategies of enhancing native species and controlling/eliminating the growth of common invasive species in your farm.

Register for the June or July Workshop!

The University of Minnesota Extension Forestry team.

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