I grew up on a crop farm in rural Chokio, Minn., where lakes and sloughs pockmark the landscape, which contains some of the world’s most fertile soil. The slough where I shot a 10-point buck when I was 17 is gone; a neighbor tilled the field and drained the slough to plant another 80 acres of corn. All the water that percolated through the soil there and slowly fed into the Mustinka River over weeks now dumps in overnight. The willow-lined creek where my grandfather built the farm 65 years ago is no longer willow-lined. And most every spring of my lifetime including this one, meltwater overflows the county road by the farm en route to Hudson Bay much quicker than in the past.

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