Governor Mark Dayton is again warning GOP lawmakers against trying to make any changes to the state’s ag buffer law that’s meant to reduce runoff from farm fields into rivers and lakes. Dayton says, quote, “I will not negotiate a buffer bill for this session.” But Dayton does say, “Next year, after the bill has started to take effect and after we have some real live situations, if they are, where things need to be tweaked, then let’s look at it then based on reality — but not based on a continuation of the scare tactics that are being employed by some.”
The Minnesota Farmers Union says the buffer issue came up at almost every stop during 14 listening sessions they held across the state. The group says farmers stress there must be clarity on how private ditches are handled, plus compensation for farmers who take land out of production for buffers that benefit the whole population. The group says urban areas’ contribution to runoff must also be addressed.
Here are Dayton’s comments:
And Q&A with MN Farmers Union President Gary Wertish: