Forever Green tour a huge success

by Trevor Russell
ABOVE: This April 19th photo contrasts traditional farmland soils and Forever Green test plots at the University of Minnesota. Traditional farmlands (left) with bare, unprotected soils sit adjacent to Forever Green test plots fully protected by Kernza, a perennial wheat developed through the University of Minnesota's Forever Green initiative.

FMR and our partners were pleased to host Governor Mark Dayton and more than one hundred elected officials, farmers, students and other interested residents for a tour of the University of Minnesota's Forever Green initiative on April 19th.

One of FMR's top legislative priorities for this year is providing full funding for ongoing Forever Green research into economically viable perennial crops and cover crops. Forever Green aims to accelerate development of economically viable winter annual and perennial crop options for Minnesota farm operations to reduce runoff pollution and habitat loss currently associated with annual cropping systems.

As the tour demonstrated, test plots growing Forever Green perennial crops and cover crops are already green and growing with lush vegetation that helps protect soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat, all while providing an economic benefit to producers.

In contrast, test plots without these crops were brown and barren, with clear implications for soil health, water quality and habitat.

By investing in Forever Green crop research, we can make economically viable Forever Green cover crops and perennial crops a reality across our state.

For a great write-up on the days events, along with some great photos, visit the Minnesota Environmental Partnership's blog post.