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Featured Farm

Schafer Farms


Schafer Farms is a multi-generation beef and swine operation in Goodhue County. The swine operation consists of a farrow-to-wean component and cattle are raised on pasture during the growing season and overwinter on corn stalks. Schafer Farms manages a number of acres of pasture for the cattle and also grows corn and alfalfa. 

Featured Video

Intro to Discovery Farms MN

Discovery Farms Minnesota is a farmer-funded, farmer-driven project to measure soil and nutrient loss from farm lands and to assess the effectiveness of various conservation farming methods for improving water quality and soil retention.

Welcome to Discovery Farms Minnesota

Discovery Farms Minnesota is a farmer-led effort to gather field scale water quality information from different types of farming systems, in landscapes all across Minnesota. The mission of the Discovery Farms program is to gather water quality information under real-world conditions. The goal is to provide practical, credible, site-specific information to enable better farm management.

The program is designed to collect accurate measurements of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus movement over the soil surface and through subsurface drainage tiles. This work leads to a better understanding of the relationship between agricultural management and water quality.

In The News

Video: Discovery Farms helps farmers protect water quality

  • Lynn Ketelsen - Linder Farm Network

Discovery Farms profile: Measuring up to a high standard in water quality means the world to Simonsen family

  • Jonathan Eisenthal - Minnesota Cornerstone

Discovery Farms profile: A no-till true believer

  • Jonathan Eisenthal - Minnesota Cornerstone

Discovery farms

  • Jodi Henke - Living the Country Life

Farming in Land of 10,000 Lakes requires soil management

  • Andrea Johnson - The Minnesota Farm Guide

Discovering a model for water quality

  • Jonathan Eisenthal - The Farmer

Discovery Farms demonstrate best management for yield, environment

  • Jonathan Eisenthal - The Farmer

KSMQ's Farm Connections Episode 607 & Episode 508

  • Dan Hoffman - KSMQ 

Program Updates and Upcoming Events

2014 Year-In-Review – A summary of data collected at Discovery Farms Minnesota core farms in 2014

Kandiyohi County Special Project Update – A summary of data collected at the Kandiyohi County Project

Discovery Farms Minnesota Program Overview – A summary of program goals, projects, and organization



Featured Event

North Dakota Multi-State Discovery Farms Tour


The ND multi-state Discovery Farms tour greatly increased the awareness of the agricultural production issues in ND with a much better understanding of the cropping/livestock systems and how the climate, topography, and hydrology pose challenges to water quality.

Real-time Data

Click here for real-time
weather data.