The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has awarded $205,000 in Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation funds to 13 projects this year through Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Projects.
These projects were selected from a competitive pool of 30 grant applications based on project design, environmental impact, and the transferability of their work to other farms.
Projects that received portions of the funds included a solar-powered rainwater catchment and distribution system using drip irrigation in Fillmore County. The system is designed to be a low-cost, solar-powered, sustainable, easy-to build rainwater harvesting and drip-tape distribution system to reduce dependence on household well water for irrigation, produce processing and supplying livestock.
Funding was also given for Legume cover crops in Wabasha County. The money will help conduct a field study of cover crop legumes to determine the likelihood of a sustainable system where cover crops provide nutrients and reduce soil erosion, in an effort to retain topsoil and nutrients in the field.