May 15, 2023Ag Water Quality Certified Farms in Minnesota see higher profits
Farmers enrolled in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) experience higher profits than non-certified farms, according to a recent study by the Minnesota State Agricultural Centers of Excellence.
The results mark the fourth year of data highlighting improved financial outcomes, according to a news release.
Looking at four years of data, the average income for MAWQCP farms was $16,000 – $40,000 higher. Other key financial metrics are also better for those enrolled in the MAWQCP, such as debt-to-asset ratios and operating expense ratios, according to the release.
The four years of data serve as an indicator of a positive return on investment for whole-farm conservation management that farmers implement to become certified.
“For four years now, we see that farm operations in the Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program have, on average, better economic outcomes on top of the known environmental benefits,” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said in the release. “There are many advantages to the MAWQCP, and I encourage all farmers and landowners to look into certifying their land and contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District for more information.”
To find details on the economic study, visit: agcentric.org/farm-business-management/annual-fbm-reports/.
The MAWQCP puts farmers in touch with local conservation district experts to identify and mitigate any risks their farm poses to water quality on a field-by-field basis. Producers going through the certification process have priority access to financial assistance. After being certified, each farm is deemed in compliance with new water quality laws and regulations for 10 years.
Since the program’s statewide launch in 2016, 1,326 farms totaling nearly 970,000 acres have been certified across Minnesota. Farms have added over 2,615 new conservation practices, which protect Minnesota’s waters. Those new practices help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 50,000 metric tons each year.
Farmers and landowners interested in becoming water quality certified can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District or visit MyLandMyLegacy.com.