Minnesota Study Shows Farms Focusing on Water Quality Make Higher Profits

A study by the Minnesota State Agricultural Centers of Excellence revealed that farmers enrolled in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) had higher profits than non-certified farms. This marks the second year of data highlighting improved financial outcomes. The 64 MAWQCP farms in the study saw 2020 profits that were an average of $40,000 or 18% higher (median of $11,000) than non-certified farms. Other key financial metrics are also better for those enrolled in the MAWQCP, such as debt-to-asset ratios and operating expense ratios. The two years of data serve as an early indicator of a positive return on investment for whole-farm conservation management farmers implement in order to become certified.