St. Croix River Watershed Agricultural Runoff Reduction Project
This project will improve water quality, reducing phosphorus annually by 1,842 in the St. Croix, Kettle and Snake River Watersheds in Pine County by establishing cover crops to reduce erosion and phosphorus/fertilizer applications, increase soil fertility, permeability, and microbe activity. A no-till drill will be purchased for use by agricultural producers for installing cover crops as a means of decreasing soil erosion, reducing phosphorus and fertilizer applications and increasing soil health. Outreach tools will be developed to annually contact and encourage agricultural producers to install 1,600 acres of cover crops a year for a period of 10 years. A partnership with NRCS will provide in-kind staff time match throughout the project with landowner contacts, cover crop plans, and implementing cover crop installations with financial match through USDA programs. A demonstration project will be conducted late summer or fall of 2017 to inform agricultural producers of the benefits of cover crops and encourage participation in the program.
This project will result an inspection database for 103E ditches. The project will also develop a process for completing the annual inspection and reporting requirements under Statue 103E.
A district forester was hired, and obtained certification to write Forest Stewardship Plans. In 2016 the forester completed 11 plans for a total of 1,826 acres. The forester worked with DNR officials to diagnose Oak Wilt in Pine County, and is planning a landowner workshop for the spring of 2017.
In 2017, 30 plans have been completed as of 10/26/17.
A drill was purchased, and several workshops and meeting with landowners were held to answer questions about the drill. 2015: 22 farmers rented the drill seeding a variety of regular and cover crops
2016: 22 farmers rented the drill seeding a variety of regular crops and cover crops.
2017: 19 farmers rented the drill, putting on more acres in than 2015 or 2016.
LOCAL LEVERAGED FUNDS