Cultivating Farmer Leadership for Better Water Quality in the St. Croix River Basin Julia Olmstead University of Wisconsin-Extension. A Farmer-Led Approach
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Cultivating Farmer Leadership
for Better Water Quality in the St. Croix River Basin
University of Wisconsin-Extension
Figure 3: Edge-of-field monitor stations measure surface water nutrients, sediment, and quantity
Figure 2: The Dry Run Creek Watershed Council, meeting at the Erin Prairie Town Hall
Promoting Continuous Living Cover
Getting more continuous living cover on the landscape – in the form of cover crops and perennial grain and forage crops – is an important strategy for better water quality. Farmers need successful models of CLC adoption to learn from and be inspired. By working with a broad range of farmers who utilize different approaches to farming (beef and dairy graziers, grain farmers that grow cover crops or perennial third crops), and encouraging those farmers to take on leadership roles, we promote farmer-to-farmer sharing and education around CLC strategies that work. As the farmer councils develop conservation incentives programs beginning in spring of 2014, they’ll have the opportunity to decide to incentivize experimentation with cover crops and other CLC strategies. Reducing the risk to farmers as they try new techniques can encourage more CLC adoption.
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