Land owners...

Left and Right

New member
If your at the local hardware store and can’t find any no hunting signs that’s because Montana bought them all.

Their down to using plywood and spray paint in some areas...
 

ckirsch

Member
There is apparently no shortage of folks who don't bother to ask for permission, and pay no attention to signs. A friend and I own two quarters of ground three hours from my home, and I can't count the number of times I've driven down there to hunt and found fresh tire tracks and empties laying around. My friend deer hunts out of a hay-bale blind there, and often watches five or six vehicles drive across our land during the three or four hours that he sits in the blind.

It's a little frustrating to scrimp and save for a couple of decades in order to buy some ground, and then watch others help themselves to it.
 
I can understand that. There are pros hers all over the place.They are sneaky, punks, and they are out there.Poachers are the lowest scum on the planet, and I turn them in all the time.
 

McFarmer

Member
The Minnesota farmers I know are very upset about this buffer thing. I'm not up on it but I guess PF had some sway in the discussions.

Many are saying no hunting when they have in the past.
 

Drake1

Member
I was in western mn doing some duck hunting and the farmers are down right pissed with the new buffer law. Essentially they see it as losing farmable acres and still having to pay taxes on that land, which I understand. Governor Dayton is wanting to protect the water quality thus starting this buffer initiative which I too understand. It's probably more complicated than what I just described.... However, by draining the sloughs on their ground how many acres of new farmable ground have they gained?? That water has to go somewhere and now you see these big waterway ditches spread across the landscape which is now requiring the new buffer strips. The farmer I know was crying about losing 12 acres but his operation has tripled since I last saw him 10 years ago.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
I was in western mn doing some duck hunting and the farmers are down right pissed with the new buffer law. Essentially they see it as losing farmable acres and still having to pay taxes on that land, which I understand. Governor Dayton is wanting to protect the water quality thus starting this buffer initiative which I too understand. It's probably more complicated than what I just described.... However, by draining the sloughs on their ground how many acres of new farmable ground have they gained?? That water has to go somewhere and now you see these big waterway ditches spread across the landscape which is now requiring the new buffer strips. The farmer I know was crying about losing 12 acres but his operation has tripled since I last saw him 10 years ago.
Excellent point. It'd be interesting to know, on average, the ratio of acres gained from drainage to acres lost to buffer strips.
 

Drake1

Member
That was his response as well and I understand your point. I'm guessing the 120 K is if you sold. How much has he gained by draining all wetlands? I'm guessing by have more acres in production his land value has increased by quite a lot. It's funny he wanted the government out of his business but yet cashes the subsidy checks.
 

McFarmer

Member
I guess it was his to drain as he saw fit at the time.

You're right however about the government money. Problem is he would put himself at a competive disadvantage if he refused the money.

All in or all out would be my thinking.

I'm thinking it was a rather heavy handed approach to the water quality problem. Many of those open ditches had the spoil placed on the banks, at least that's the case around here. Surface water does not run into them unless there is a culvert.

The professionals in the field could have been tasked with the problem and found a solution on a case by case basis. Some cases would have required a buffer while others may have needed a different solution. Taking out standpipes would be my first recommendation.
 
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Logical

New member
"his to drain as he saw fit at the time"

Until downstream people had to deal with his runoff, both as floodwater, and as contaminated by his farm chemicals (fertilizer, herbicide, etc). Since farming is a big polluter if you don't have filter belts, how can farmers claim to be the "real stewards of the land"? Maybe it should be appended with "but not-so-good stewards of the water".

I understand them needing to make as much as they can from their land. But, at some point there needs to be responsible production. I can't do what I want in my business, and pollute whatever I want. There are regulations and thresholds to be met. Same with farm chemicals. The farmers over-farmed, so now they have to get back into compliance, just like any other business. Sucks for their pocketbook, but responsibility has its price.
 

McFarmer

Member
When most of these drainage ditches were dug it was encouraged (and paid for) by the government at all levels. Our ditches and tile mains are owned by the county, they installed them originally. Farmers have the right to tap into them and share the maintainence by property tax levy on the drainage district.

Society at large is responsible for those ditches being there. If they now are out of favor I don't think it should be incumbent on the farmer to solely bear the cost of whatever correction the public feels important today.

No farmer I know produced a pesticide or commercial fertilizer. Universities and corporations developed products and encouraged their use. Farmers didn't pull these application times and rates from their nether regions.

I totally agree that if you take an action that harms another or necessitates another spending money to remove an impurity you placed in a common resource you should take steps to make amends. There was a lot of profit selling those chemicals to the farmer for his use, if they end up where society doesn't want them I don't think it is the farmer's sole responsibility.

As I said before, look to those orange verticle tile intakes if you want to see where much of the water pollutants are getting into the water supply. A blanket requirement for buffers is misguided, and whatever the solution the farmer shouldn't burdened with the entire cost.

My opinion only of course.
 

Logical

New member
McFarmer, yes, it is your opinion. Which, in my mind, is more informed than mine, as mine was formed by reading articles in newspapers and magazines. I don't trust either to give the complete story, and your input about the county encouraging and owning is new information for me. Duly noted.

And, you make good points about the producers of the pesticides and fertilizers that are now contaminating our waters. Those companies should bear much of the cost of mitigating the hazards from their use. But, as with cigarettes, were the farmers completely ignorant of the hazards of the chemicals they were putting on the fields? As with cigarette users, I think not. I am not saying the farmers should shoulder all the burden, but if putting a filter buffer back in and losing some farm land is not too much to ask. Currently, and I know prices fluctuate, an acre that produces 225 bu of corn yields about $785 at the co-op. Take out the costs of planting and maintaining that corn, and the profit lost is much less.

If there is a 30' buffer, it takes a mile of buffer to equal 7 acres. As a percentage of total productive farm land, that's less than 1%, if it goes across a farmable section. Granted, you can't farm all 640 acres of a section, but that is still, maybe, a loss of 1.5%. I don't want to take a hit of 1.5% from my paychecks, but we lose about that to inflation every year or two.

There is no perfect solution. CRP was supposed to help take poor farmland out of production. We are losing lots of CRP every year, as farmers apparently are able to make more by farming marginal land than they were being paid have CRP. Something has to be ceded by all parties. Everyone is losing something in the process.
 

McFarmer

Member
I think we are nearly in agreement. I think the hardest thing for the Minnesota farmers to swallow is that this action seems a lot like "taking" by the state government, without compensation. The feelings would be the same no matter how small the amount of land. And of course they still pay property tax on this land the government says they can't use.

Maybe eminent domain would be better used, the farmers would then be compensated. But, I don't think that would fly very well either.

As I said at the beginning a better solution would be for the soil and water professionals to look at each situation and determine the best remedy. It could be partially funded by the producers of these products. Blanket buffer strips is too broad a brush.
 

IsThisHeaven?

New member
If farmers were able to enroll the buffer strip acres in CRP (or a similar state funded program), where they would receive some compensation do you believe that would satisfy the farmers at all? I understand currently the program is capped. I am just wondering if they were able to receive some degree of compensation for land put into buffers would that address their concerns to some degree.

I understand they may not be able to be made completely whole, but it seems we all are going to have to chip in to address the water quality problem. Where I live I currently have to pay to remove nitrates from the water. It would be nice if if the cost was spread to all parties involved.
 

McFarmer

Member
Having the buffers in CRP would certainly be one carrot, in all reality should have been put in there already. Some folks are philosophically opposed to the CRP program, for their own reasons.

I must be sure to add that I am familiar with my Iowa situation, the situation in Minnesota no doubt has some differences I'm not aware of. We pay a special water quality tax in Iowa on our fertilizer purchases (and herbicides?) I wonder how well that money is spent ? I certainly couldn't tell you where it goes.

No one worries about those orange risers, I tell you they are a main culprit in reduced water quality. No easy answer there though.
 

reddog

Active member
I have two of those orange intakes within 200 feet of my 10 acres acreage. Neither has produced a crop in the last 2 years, because of drown outs, Each of them have been replanted in previous years Ive owned the property. (12) One of these intakes is stands water that covers a portion of my acreage. I have replanted natives at least 3 different times in 12 years with the last one being a wetland variety that Im ready to leave grow next year after two years of maintenance mowing. The 1/2 acre in the corn field where the intake is,(which drains to the north end of West Okoboji) was 7 feet high with weeds, because it mustve been too wet to spray as part of the corn application. I took my stalk chopper out yesterday as a favor to the farmer and knocked it down. Id certainly like to see a buffer circle put around this. The other intake flows thru my property and into the west side of West O. These types of land need to be protected with a filter strip, but I dont forsee it happening, because the land lord is production based, and the way the FCI is structured, if they can get it planted, they can collect when it drowns out. This year, they werent able to get it even planted.. Id love to purchase both sides.. it would take about 1.5 acreas on the one side, and ten additional on the other.
 
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