ST. PAUL — A new study by the Minnesota State Agricultural Centers of Excellence shows 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 “Influence of Intensified Environmental Practices on Farm Profitability” study examined financial and crop production information from farmers enrolled in the Minnesota State Farm Business Management education program. 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. The 2019 data showed an average of $19,000, or 20% in higher profits (median of $7,000) for certified producers. Other key financial metrics are also better for those enrolled in the MAWQCP, such as debt-to-asset ratios and operating expense ratios.

“While this study is in its infancy, capturing two years of data and 3% of the Minnesota database, it does look encouraging that producers who are water quality certified enjoy an increase in farm profitability,” said Keith Olander, executive director of AgCentric. “As we expand this dataset in future years, we will look to incorporate enterprise level management data that may explain more about what is driving these profit levels.”

To view the report, visit agcentric.org.