MDA Township Testing Program

Nitrates are a serious concern today in ground water supplies. The MDA is currently working though a sampling program across many counties in Minnesota designated as having a higher potential for groundwater contamination. Stearns County has a number of townships that have been included in this testing.

Find out more about that program here:

Results from some Stearns County townships have been released in the following document:

Conservation Buffers

Conservation buffers are strips of vegetation placed in the landscape to influence ecological processes and provide a variety of goods and services to us. They are called by many names, including wildlife corridors, greenways, windbreaks, and filter strips to name just a few.

Benefits that conservation buffers provide to us include protecting soil resources, improving air and water quality, enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, and beautifying the landscape. In addition, buffers offer landowners an array of economic opportunities including protection and enhancement of existing enterprises.

find out more here

Breakfast on the Farm 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Rohe Dairy near Melrose, Minn.

The families of Rohe Dairy are excited to show you their dairy farm.

You are cordially invited to attend the 8th Annual Stearns County Breakfast on the Farm, at Rohe Dairy, Melrose MN. This event will take place on Saturday, June 6th from 7:30- 12:30pm. Breakfast is being catered by the Kimball Lions Club they will be serving Pancakes, French toast, eggs and sausage along with beverages. Local FFA Chapters and 4-H Clubs, Ag Ambassadors, Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Stearns County Dairy Princesses, and many Agribusiness volunteers will be facilitating tours and educational activities for all attendees.

USDA - New Farmer Website


New and beginning farmers and ranchers are as diverse as American agriculture itself. New farmers are growing traditional crops and new varieties, organic produce and heirloom products. They are part of row-crop farms - employing cutting-edge technology and equipment - and community supported agriculture programs - delivering fresh products directly to their neighbors. They are raising beef, pork, dairy cattle, poultry, and fish on operations of every size.

Our diversity, youth engagement, and types of agriculture are all increasing, and growing the next generation of agriculture has never been more exciting or more urgent than it is right now. And as the average age of farmers and ranchers in America continues to rise, the question of how we build our bench in agriculture becomes ever more important.

Here at USDA, we are working hard to make sure we are ready to meet the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow.

See site here:

Remember to Order Your Rain Barrel or Compost Bin


This spring, the Recycling Association of Minnesota is working to bring residents affordable rain barrels and compost bins. 

There are many economic and environmental benefits to using rain barrels and compost bins, a few are: 

1.  When you use a rain barrel, you will conserve water by using the rain water rather than from the spigot (which you pay for).  It can also help with storm water management on your property in conjunction with your neighbor!    It can also reduce storm water runoff, which can be a major pollution contributor to waterways.  

2.  By using a compost bin you can reduce more than 25% of your waste from going to a landfill which saves you money!

These compost bins and rain barrels are made from recycled content and are extremely affordable.  Compost bins are only $55 and rain barrels are $69.  

To order your rainbarrel or compost bin go to: RecycleMinnesota.org

Stearns County SWCD Facebook Feed

The Lake Koronis Project

The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has received a Clean Water Partnership Grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to work with the public in an effort to protect and/or improve the water quality of Lake Koronis. Click here for more information.

Local Area Chosen as Pilot for Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program

The Middle Sauk River in Stearns County was recently selected to be one of 4 pilot areas for the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program. This voluntary effort is the results of local-state-federal partnerships and looks to accelerate water quality improvements while recognizing the efforts of our local producers. The photo shows Stearns County SWCD Board member Chuck Uphoff with Governor Mark Dayton and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (seated) at the pilot area announcement event.

For more information on this new program please contact the Stearns SWCD office at 320-251-7800 Ext. 3 or you can read more on the Mn Department of Agriculture website here.

Fitting Cover Crops into Your Rotation

Cover crops are an excellent way to build organic matter, protect soil from erosion, fight weeds, capture nutrients, and even provide supplemental forage; they help mimic a natural system where there is cover year round when interseeded into or planted after cash crops. When planting cover crops you can look at your specific goals and consider legumes for a nitrogen source, nutrient recovery and increased infiltration with deep rooted brassicas (i.e. turnips and radishes), or try a mixture that will cover multiple resource concerns.  One helpful tool is the Cover Crop Decision Tool offered by the Midwest Cover Crops Council http://www.mccc.msu.edu/index.htm.


Do you know the story of Soil?
Click here to learn the whole story! iheartsoil.org 



SWCD Press Releases

Current Releases:

Women Caring for the Land Session
Stearns Students to Complete at State Envirothon
SWCD Partners with Third Street Bewhouse
Climate Adaptation Award

Past Press Releases Click here...

Other News Click here...

greenstarfarms.org - How Does Your Stewardship Rate?

No-Till University

FREE posters available!
Click here

The On-Farm Network® is here.

The Stearns County SWCD is partnering with the On-Farm Network® to assist farmers in implementing stalk nitrate evaluations to help them fine tune Nitrogen management in corn production.  Click here for more information.

Learn about Pheasants Forever.

Check out the video at the bottom of the Pheasants Forever page. Click here...

Want to learn about the soil on your property?

Check out the Web Soil Survey Click here...

Department of Natural Resources is taking tree orders (minimum order 500 trees). Click here for more information.

Mississippi River Basin Initiative Program

The Stearns SWCD and partners have been awarded over $4 million for projects that will protect and restore the waters of the Sauk River. Working with many partners, the SWCD will provide assistance to producers to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus while supporting agricultural productively and wildlife habitat. Learn more...

Problems or Questions about this website? Please contact ben.ruley@mn.nacdnet.net

All contents are the property of Stearns County SWCD. The District's goal is to provide quality and accurate information.
All information within this site, though, is subject to change and should only serve as a guideline for the District's services and procedures.
For the most current and accurate information, please contact the District at (320)251-7800, Extension 3.

Office Hours 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Mon-Fri

110 2nd Street South, Waite Park, MN 56387 | Ph: 320-251-7800 x3 | Fax: 855-205-6907

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