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 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
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.
Click here to learn the whole story! iheartsoil.org
Past Press Releases Click here...
Other News Click here...
greenstarfarms.org - How Does Your Stewardship Rate?
FREE posters available!
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...