Working to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities area

Minnesota wetlands and grasslands losing out to farms

A recent Star Tribune article highlights an alarming trend in Minnesota: in just the last five years, Minnesota has lost 312 square miles of valuable wetlands and the natural vegetation – an area about 5.7 times the size of Minneapolis – most likely because of the high payouts that come with federally subsidized crop insurance.

The article highlights a new study by our friends at the Environmental Working Group, which explores the loss of critical wetlands and grasslands nationwide. A related article from Bloomberg suggests that sustained high commodity prices and lavish taxpayer-supported crop insurance programs combine to encouraging farmers to plow fragile lands and put ecosystems at risk.