Southwest Research and Outreach Center - Lamberton, MN

Southwest Research
and Outreach Center

23669 130th Street
Lamberton, MN 56152

Phone: (507)752-7372
Fax: (507)752-5097
E-mail: werne022@umn.edu

Soil and Water Management and Conservation

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The health of people, the environment, and the health of economies depend on productive land and reliable sources of clean water. Minnesota contains some of the most productive farmland in the nation and is ranked in the top 10 in corn, soybean, sugar beet, turkey, and swine production. Minnesota is also the headwaters of the Mississippi River an important water resource for recreational opportunities and for transporting manufactured goods and agricultural commodities.

Agriculture is under increasing pressure to develop technologies and strategies that contribute solutions to energy, food security, and climate change concerns. Intensifying cropping systems and adapting farming practices to increase productivity, mainly through more intensive nutrient management, drainage, and irrigation can result in increased production but can also result in impaired water quality and loss of biological diversity. Coupled with our growing food, feed, fiber, and fuel production demands, this threatens agricultural sustainability.

New, science-based knowledge is needed to assess the agronomic, economic, and ecological consequences of integrating various soil and water management strategies in agricultural landscapes. Natural and managed ecosystems play essential roles in the regulation and maintenance of ecological processes (gas emissions, water quantity and quality, nutrient biogeochemical cycling, and climate regulation). These systems are also important as habitat for indigenous plants and animals; production of food, feed, fiber, and energy; and opportunities for recreation and education.

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