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Survey Information:

The Stearns County SWCD is working with the University of Minnesota (U of M) on a multi-year effort to measure crop residue cover statewide in Minnesota.  The SWCD will be assisting this project in a sample area within Stearns County.  This data will be used to calibrate computer models that are being tested to measure crop residue cover based on satellite imagery. This goal of the project is to develop a method to accurately measure trends in crop residue, cover crops, and tillage using remote sensing (see the enclosed fact sheet).  

This information remains anonymous.  Who owns or operates each site is irrelevant for this project and this information is not tagged to the site ID. 


Project Objectives:

•   Develop a long-term program to systematically collect tillage (crop residue after planting) data and soil erosion estimates to analyze trends in adoption and retention of agricultural soil and water management practices,

•   Track tillage trends, cover crop adoption, and land cover in the 67 county area with greater than 30% of land dedicated to row crop production, and

•   Quantify and track, on multiple scales,trends in average annual and daily soil loss due to wind and water erosion.•Provide data to support targeting of conservation programs

More information here:

Tillage and Erosion Survey Program Update (BWSR)

The Stearns County Soil and Water Office is also available to answer questions about this program. Please contact us for more information:

Please call the SWCD at (320)-251-7800 ext. 3 or email me at

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