Statewide Technical Assistance

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2023 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,500,000
2022 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,264,681
2021 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,102,745
2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,286,586
2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,250,280
2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,305,946
2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,413,212
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,470,192
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,182,290
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$800,794
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$285,700
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$279,500
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$259,000
Fund Source
Clean Water Fund
Recipient
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Recipient Type
State Government
Status
In Progress
Start Date
July 2009
End Date
June 2026
Activity Type
Demonstration/Pilot Project
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Technical Assistance
Counties Affected
Statewide
Statewide
Project Overview

The MDA's technical assistance helps ensure that current and accurate scientific information is made available and used to address water quality concerns in agricultural areas of Minnesota. This funding has been used to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation practices, share information from research and demonstration sites and enhance outreach and education to the agricultural community and local government partners.

The MDA technical assistance staff support the Impaired Waters Process in Minnesota. Staff attend meetings and provide input for Watershed Protection and Restoration Strategies (WRAPS) and other planning documents. The MDA provides advice about the implementation of best management practices and supports on-farm evaluations. The MDA is also represented on multiple interagency teams to ensure consistency and coordination on research and demonstrations across state agencies. Through outreach efforts, the MDA ensures that agricultural issues are represented during scientific discussions that focus on water quality.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Agricultural BMPs: In many areas of the state, the MDA uses on-farm evaluations to help farmers compare different management practices and use the results to update knowledge and inform future management decisions. The MDA uses on-farm, edge-of-field monitoring to assess sediment and nutrient loss at the field scale and to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation practices. The MDA works with many partners including universities, crop consultants, soil and water districts, farmers, and other state agencies.

Technology Transfer: The MDA works with many partners to share information about research and emerging technologies. The MDA provides in-field technical assistance, project coordination and technical advice. The MDA convenes technical advisory committees to share information about projects and gather input from subject matter experts. The MDA also meets regularly and provides technical advice to project partners including commodity groups, local SWCDs, non-profits and other state agencies. The MDA works directly with farmers and local government units to disseminate information and to ensure that scientific information gets in the hands of the end user.

Outreach and Education: The MDA works with many partners to ensure that Clean Water Fund information is accurate and easily accessible. Brochures, fact sheets, videos, web pages, field days, presentations and meetings are used to deliver information to individuals and organizations. The MDA works with a diverse group of stakeholders including farmers, legislators, state agencies, local governments, academics, non-profits, environmental groups and community based groups. The MDA's communication efforts support local partnerships and foster greater cooperation.

 

Project Details

The following activities and programs are included under Statewide Technical Assistance. 

  1. Nutrient Management Initiative
  2. Root River Field to Stream Partnership
  3. Clay County Drainage Demonstration Site (completed)
  4. Discovery Farms Minnesota
  5. Red River Valley Drainage Water Management Project
  6. Promoting precision conservation to local governments

 

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2021, 1st Special Session, Chp. 1, Art. 2, Sec. 3
Appropriation Language

(d) $1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for technical assistance, research, and demonstration projects on properly implementing best management practices and more-precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters and for grants to support on-farm demonstration of agricultural practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2026.

2023 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,500,000
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2021, 1st Special Session, Chp. 1, Art. 2, Sec. 3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2021: (d) $1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for technical assistance, research, and demonstration projects on properly implementing best management practices and more-precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters and for grants to support on-farm demonstration of agricultural practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2026.

2022 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,264,681
Direct expenses
$1,098,164
Administration costs
$166,517
Measurable Outcome(s)

Technical assistance activities are a primary vehicle to work with the agricultural community to promote best management practices. As of October 2022, the MDA has cumulatively engaged >18,000 ag producers, crop advisors and Local Government Units at >450 education and outreach events.

Implemented 677 Nutrient Management Initiative field trials in 2015-2021

  • Worked with an average of 98 farmers and 27 crop advisers each year on nutrient management trials

The MDA maintains 20 active edge-of-field water quality monitoring stations around the state.

Edge of Field data has been used for a variety of computer simulation and model calibrations including PTMApp, Adapt-N, SWAT, and the Runoff Risk Advisory Tool. Data are used to support the State’s Watershed Approach and referenced in numerous WRAPs reports.

  • Data from Discovery Farms Minnesota, the Root River Field to Stream Partnership, the Clay County Drainage Site and Red River Valley Drainage Water Management have all been shared with local, state and national partners. Data has been used in peer-reviewed journal articles, large meta-analysis and to engage local farmers and discuss the effectiveness of conservation practices.

The Root River Field to Stream Partnership (RRFSP) has helped identify critical areas and worked with farmers to implement conservation practices.

This project has helped install and support:

  • Over 105,000 feet of grassed waterways
  • 15 new water and sediment control basins and catchment ponds
  • Rehabilitation of an outdated flood control structure
  • Planting of 370 acres of cover crops
  • Feedlot improvements include an increase in manure storage to reduce manure applications on frozen soil, moving milk house wastewater systems, and abandonment of a feedlot in a high-risk location
  • The highest runoff risk field in one of the study areas (80 acres) was enrolled into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). An additional 50 acres was enrolled in other areas.
  • Over 50% of the highest priority conservation practices were addressed by the end of 2017, about 70% addressed as of end of 2022.
  • $1.8 million in state and federal conservation funds were distributed across three watersheds over a five-year period (60% on vegetative & structural practices, 40% on feedlot & manure waste improvements)
  • In the glacial till headwaters watershed, 64% of the High Risk Area has been treated (after 2021), prior to 2018 only 8% of the High Risk Area had been treated.

The RRFSP has leveraged Clean Water Fund dollars with over $5 million in private, state, and federal dollars to support conservation efforts. If CWF dollars from other agencies is excluded, over $3.5 million has been leveraged. 
                                                                                                                                                                            

The Red River Valley Drainage Water Management Project (RRV DWM) is evaluating drainage water management on operating farms as a practice to mitigate flooding and add water quality and quantity benefits.

The project has shown that: 

  • Controlled drainage is a viable option in the lake bottom landscape of the Red River Basin
  • During 2017-2020, controlled drainage reduced nitrate-N losses by 22% and reduced drainage volume by over 13% compared to conventional subsurface drainage
  • During 2018-2020, a saturated buffer had capacity to treat 92% of the drainage water from an 11-acre research field and removed over 76% of the nitrate in the drainage water (including water through the bypass)
  • Since 2015, nearly 3,500 people have been engaged in RRV DWM outreach presentations, and field days/events. (Overall: 49 presentations, 19 field days/events, 4 poster displays, 2 trade journal articles, 3 publications/reports, 2 data requests)

The RRV DWM has leveraged Clean Water Fund dollars with over $1 million in private, Local Government Unit and federal dollars to support drainage research and outreach. Project is a partner site for the USDA-funded $5M Transforming Drainage project.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2019, 1st Special Session, Chp. 2--S.F. No. 3, Art. 2
Appropriation Language

(d) $1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for technical assistance, research, and demonstration projects on proper implementation of best management practices and more-precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters and for grants to support on-farm demonstration of agricultural practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2024.

2021 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,102,745
Direct expenses
$940,660
Administration costs
$162,085
Number of full time equivalents funded
5.34
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)
  • Number of edge-of-field water quality monitoring stations installed and operational
  • Number of research or science groups that request and use data generated at research and demonstration sites (either to validate models, reference in TMDL studies or promote the adoption of conservation practices)
  • Number of field days, presentation and other educational events hosted each year and the number of contacts with farmers, crop advisors and co-op dealers
  • Number of local and regional partnerships in support of protecting and restoring surface water in Minnesota
Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2019, 1st Special Session, Chp. 2--S.F. No. 3, Art. 2
Appropriation Language

d) $1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for technical assistance, research, and demonstration projects on proper implementation of best management practices and more-precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters and for grants to support on-farm demonstration of agricultural practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2024.

2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,286,586
Direct expenses
$1,119,430
Administration costs
$167,156
Number of full time equivalents funded
6.9
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)
  • Number of edge-of-field water quality monitoring stations installed and operational
  • Number of research or science groups that request and use data generated at research and demonstration sites (either to validate models, reference in TMDL studies or promote the adoption of conservation practices)
  • Number of field days, presentation and other educational events hosted each year and the number of contacts with farmers, crop advisors and co-op dealers
  • Number of local and regional partnerships in support of protecting and restoring surface water in Minnesota
  • Total dollars leveraged
Measurable Outcome(s)

Edge-of-field monitoring

  • 26 active edge-of-field water quality monitoring stations installed and operational in 2020
    Overall there have been 71 edge-of-field stations throughout the life of the program, some projects have ended.
  • Data has been used for a variety of computer simulation and model calibrations including PTMApp, Adapt-N, SWAT, and the Runoff Risk Advisory Tool. It has been used in peer-reviewed journal articles and large meta-analysis. Data continues to be shared with local, state, and national partners, and local farmers to discuss the effectiveness of conservation practices, and continues to be used to support the State’s Watershed Approach. The data is referenced in numerous WRAPs reports.

Outreach

  • From 2015-2020, about 15,000 ag producers, crop advisers and Local Government Units participated in 327 education and outreach events.

Funds leveraged

  • From 2015-2020 about $6.5 million has been leveraged from edge-of-field sites to support conservation efforts

For additional measures please refer to individual project pages. See "related projects".

Proposed Outcomes Achieved
achieved proposed outcomes
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2017, Chapter 91, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

(d) $1,125,000 the first year and $1,125,000 the second year are for technical assistance, research, and demonstration projects on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters and for grants to support on-farm demonstration of agricultural practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2022.

2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,250,280
Direct expenses
$1,115,021
Administration costs
$135,259
Number of full time equivalents funded
7.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2017, Chapter 91, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

(d) $1,125,000 the first year and $1,125,000 the second year are for technical assistance, research, and demonstration projects on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters and for grants to support on-farm demonstration of agricultural practices. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2022.

2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,305,946
Direct expenses
$1,116,971
Administration costs
$188,975
Number of full time equivalents funded
7.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minnesota Session Laws - 2015, 1st Special Session, Chapter 2, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

(d) $1,125,000 the first year and $1,125,000 the second year are for technical assistance, research, and demonstration projects on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2020.

2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,413,212
Direct expenses
$1,261,327
Administration costs
$151,885
Number of full time equivalents funded
6.8
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minnesota Session Laws - 2015, 1st Special Session, Chapter 2, Article 2, Section 3
Appropriation Language

(d) $1,125,000 the first year and $1,125,000 the second year are for technical assistance, research, and demonstration projects on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2020.

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,470,192
Direct expenses
$1,320,291
Administration costs
$149,901
Number of full time equivalents funded
6.8
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013, Chapter 137, Article 2, Sec. 2
Appropriation Language

(d) $1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for research, pilot projects, and technical assistance on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,182,290
Direct expenses
$1,049,412
Administration costs
$132,878
Number of full time equivalents funded
6.85
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)
  • Number of edge-of-field water quality monitoring stations installed and operational
  • Number of research or science groups that request and use data generated at research and demonstration sites (either to validate models, reference in TMDL studies or promote the adoption of conservation practices)
  • Number of field days, presentation and other educational events hosted each year and the number of contacts with farmers, crop advisors and co-op dealers
  • Number of local and regional partnerships in support of protecting and restoring surface water in Minnesota

 

Measurable Outcome(s)

The MDA conducts on-farm demonstrations and evaluations to provide accurate data on water quality effects of specific practices and help farmers understand and adopt best management practices (BMPs). On-farm work is conducted at 17 sites using 37 automated monitoring stations. The MDA works closely with 20 local government partners across the state. To date, over 50 field days, tours and educational events have been held to share results with interested farmers, conservation professionals and other stakeholders.

The number of data requests for information from edge-of-field monitoring sites continues to increase. For example, the National Weather Service has requested edge-of-field data to validate / calibrate their Runoff Risk Advisory Service. Specifically, they are interested to know if runoff is actually occurring at times when their predictive model suggests the likelihood is high. Other data requests have come from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program, Water Resources Center (U of M) and others.

 

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013, Chapter 137, Article 2, Sec. 2
Appropriation Language

(d) $1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for research, pilot projects, and technical assistance on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2018.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$800,794
Direct expenses
$706,285
Administration costs
$94,509
Number of full time equivalents funded
8.5
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, Chapter 6, Article 2, Sec.3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2011:(d) $775,000 the first year and $775,000 the second year are for research, pilot projects, and technical assistance on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2016.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$285,700
Direct expenses
$272,755
Administration costs
$12,945
Number of full time equivalents funded
5.85
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, Chapter 6, Article 2, Sec.3
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2011:(d) $775,000 the first year and $775,000 the second year are for research, pilot projects, and technical assistance on proper implementation of best management practices and more precise information on nonpoint contributions to impaired waters. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2016.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$279,500
Direct expenses
$268,985
Administration costs
$10,515
Number of full time equivalents funded
5.2
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009, Chapter 172, Article 2, Sec. 2
Appropriation Language

M.L. 2009: (d) $695,000 the first year and $1,570,000 the second year are for research, pilot projects, and technical assistance related to ways agricultural practices contribute to restoring impaired waters and assist with the development of TMDL plans.

2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$259,000
Direct expenses
$247,010
Administration costs
$11,990
Number of full time equivalents funded
1 FTE (2010), 3.95 FTE (2011)
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Please refer to the most recent fiscal year.

Description of Funds
Administration costs for FY10 represent the sum of FY2010 and FY2011.
Project Manager
First Name
Margaret
Last Name
Wagner
Organization Name
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Street Address
625 Robert Street North
City
St. Paul
State
Minnesota
Zip Code
55155
Phone
(651) 201-6488
Email
Margaret.Wagner@state.mn.us
Administered By
Administered by
Location

625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone
651-201-6000
Email the Agency