Governor wants to know … how can water quality be improved?
He’s seen how changes in farming practices can have a big impact on the creek’s health.
"It’s helping demonstrate that the farmers who are doing those practices are making a difference, and I think that’s positive to encourage that," Gossman said.
Mark Dayton hosts a town hall in Rochester focused on how to improve the region’s water quality by 25 percent by 2025.
In Southeast Minnesota, pollution due to the runoff of phosphorus and sediment remains a major challenge.
Terry Lee, Olmsted County’s water resources manager, said nitrate pollution is a huge problem.
An estimated 900 people in Olmsted County are drinking from water sources that don’t meet federal safe drinking standards for nitrate concentration, according to Lee.
In Southeast Minnesota, Lee said, most of the nitrates found in drinking water come from fertilizer use.
On it, the county grows corn and soybeans using a no-till method.
He also has started using these techniques on his own farm west of Rochester.
At this point, he estimates only 5 percent to 10 percent of the area’s farmers practice no-till farming.