The Minnesota legislative session won’t start until mid-February, but agricultural issues are already on the table. The House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Committee met this past week for an information-only meeting about climate change. Agriculture Commissioner Thom Peterson began his testimony by saying 2019 was the wettest year on record in Minnesota. “I also want to highlight prevent plant acres; we had 1.17 million acres which placed us sixth in the nation.” Board of Water and Soil Resources Assistant Director Angie Becker Kudelka said the extreme rainfall events seen in recent years can be attributed to climate change. “We know that more frequent, heavier, longer duration rain events will increase soil erosion and runoff. With increased soil erosion, we also know it means increased runoff for fertilizers and pesticides and it puts pressure on the state’s drainage infrastructure.” Minnesota’s Water Quality Certification Program and cover crops also got attention in the capitol meeting.
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