- Associated Press - Friday, October 6, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota landowners are on track for meeting the state’s first deadline for putting buffer strips of vegetation between cropland and public waters.

The Board of Water and Soil Resources says 94 percent of parcels that require them will have pollution protections in place by the Nov. 1 deadline. Landowners who can’t meet the deadline can get extensions until July 1 if they can show they have a plan for complying.

Landowners also need buffers along public ditches by Nov. 1, 2018.

Gov. Mark Dayton championed the 2015 buffer law to reduce farm pollution entering Minnesota waters.

While the statewide compliance rate looks high, many heavily agricultural counties in western and southern Minnesota have less than 80 percent compliance, and some with the most row crops are under 70 percent compliant.

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