House and senate introduce full funding for Forever Green

by Trevor Russell
Conservation crops under development through the University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative will play a key role in Minnesota's clean water goals. (Photo credit: University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative)

To get to our clean water goals in Minnesota, we need to plant more perennial and cover crops. But these crops need to be profitable before farm operations can effectively make the change.

To address this challenge, two bills were introduced in the house and senate that will fully fund the University of Minnesota’s Forever Green Initiative, one of FMR’s top priorities this legislative session.

Forever Green: good for farmers, good for water

Forever Green is a highly respected research effort designed to develop new, economically viable perennial crops and winter annual crops (cover crops) to boost our environment while providing a stable return for local farmers.

These Forever Green crops reduce runoff pollution and habitat loss from traditional annual crops (corn and soybeans) while maintaining or enhancing farm prosperity — a key goal of FMR’s water program.

The bills to watch

The legislation (Senate File 134 & House File 962) requests $10 million in state general fund support for Forever Green this biennium. This support is supplemented by an additional $3.3 million recommended by the Clean Water Council from the state’s Clean Water Fund

When fully funded, the Forever Green Initiative will make Minnesota a leader in developing more sustainable, profitable and diversified cropping systems that improve habitat, water quality, climate and soil health while boosting rural economic development.

Here's how you can stay tuned for further updates as this legislation advances in February and March:

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