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Projects & Services

Conservation Planning and Construction

The SWCD provides technical assistance to all landowners to:

  • Conduct a site investigation with the landowner/operator
  • Work with landowner to determine the best management practices possible for any given situation
  • Survey/design the project
  • Produce a rough cost-estimate
  • Perform a pre-construction conference with the contractor/landowner
  • Supervise construction and,
  • Certify completion of the project
  • Provide landowner with a design plan for submission of bids

Cost Share Program

A variety of cost-share programs are available to help landowners pay for installing best management conservation practices. SWCD staff work with landowners to access funding through federal, state and local programs. The following is a list of commonly approved cost share practices:

  • Cover Crops- Annual species planted in agricultural fields to prevent wind erosion, increase water infiltration, build organic matter, and tie up nutrients in the soil.
  • Residue & Tillage Management (No-Till, Reduced Till)- Limiting soil disturbance to manage the amount, orientation, and distribution of crop and plant residue on the soil surface year around to reduce sheet, rill, and wind erosion.
  • Field Windbreaks- Linear plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs or sets of linear plantings.
  • Water & Sediment Control Basins- An earth embankment or a combination ridge and channel constructed across the slope of a minor drainageway to reduce gully erosion, trap sediment and reduce & manage runoff.
  • Critical Area Planting- Establishing permanent vegetation on sites that have or are expected to have high erosion rates, and on sites that have physical, chemical, or biological conditions that prevent the establishment of vegetation with normal planting practices.
  • Diversions- A channel constructed across the slope with a supporting ridge on the lower side.
  • Shelterbelts- Linear plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs or sets of linear plantings.
  • Grass Waterway- A natural or constructed channel that is shaped or graded to required dimensions and established in suitable vegetations for the stable conveyance of runoff.
  • Filter Strips- A strip or area of herbaceous vegetation situated between cropland, grazing land or disturbed land and environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Streambank, Shoreland and Roadside Protection- Using vegetation or structures to stabilize and protect banks of streams, lakes, estuaries, or excavated channels against scour or erosion.
  • Terraces- An earth embankment or a combination ridge an channel constructed across the field slope.
  • Unused Well Sealing- The sealing and permanent closure of a water well no longer in use.

Custom Mowing | Roto-tilling | Disking

The SWCD has custom mowing, roto-tilling and disking services available for $75 per hour.

Additional Programs & Services

Observation Well Program

The SWCD contracts with the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to measure the water level in wells located in the county in areas where there are irrigation wells.

Rain Gauge Monitoring

Since 1977, the SWCD has maintained a network of volunteers who monitor and report precipitation amounts. The monthly reports are sent to the Minnesota Office of Climatology. The reports can be viewed on the State Climatology Office Web site.

Soils Information

The fieldwork for the Chippewa County’s soil survey was completed and complied into a published soil survey for distribution. The web soil survey can be found here.

Easement Programs

Chippewa County has participated in several of the State’s conservation easement programs. The CREP and RIM programs have resulted in over 8,000 acres of marginal agricultural lands being permanently retired.