The Minnesota Agriculture Water Resources Center (MAWRC) is a research and education organization comprised of the primary farm organizations in Minnesota, working together to identify and address water issues. Since our inception in 2008, MAWRC programs have evolved in response to constantly evolving water concerns, but the one constant is our commitment to providing useful information to Minnesota farmers and ranchers.
Minnesota is a great place to grow crops and livestock, and our diverse network of farms and ranchers ranks among the best in the nation in the production of corn, soybeans, wheat, sugar beets, sweet corn, peas, poultry, hogs, beef cattle, and dairy products. Growing interest in fresh vegetables and other foods offered at farmers markets provides an opportunity for some farmers, particularly those located near the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Yet as diverse as Minnesota agriculture is, all farmers, regardless of what they grow or how they grow it, have one thing in common - they all have the potential to impact water and the opportunity to minimize potential impacts.
Tilling the soil, adding nutrients and removing weed and insect pests allow farmers to grow crops efficiently, but each also presents an environmental risk. Variable weather presents yet another layer of environmental risk. Farmers address environmental risks by drawing from a vast toolbox, each building a complete system, tailored to meet the challenges facing their particular farm setting. During the last half twentieth century, Minnesota farmers led the way in adopting practices that minimize soil erosion. And while there are still a few places in need of solutions to address soil erosion, attention is turning to concerns associated with tile drainage.
The MAWRC is here to help farmers identify and address environmental risks, and to help others understand farm systems.