What's New at Meeker SWCD

Buffer Cost Share

Cost Share Available to Help Meet Buffer Law Requirements

Almost $5 million dollars is now available to support landowners throughout Minnesota in meeting the requirements of Minnesota’s buffer law.  $24,000 has been allocated to Meeker County to provide cost share assistance to landowners to plant buffers.  

The buffer cost-share program funds were approved at the June meeting of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). These Clean Water Funds, passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Dayton at the end of the 2017 legislative session, provide important support to the Governor’s Buffer Initiative. 

The funds will be distributed to soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) and will be used for cost-sharing with landowners or their authorized agents to implement riparian buffers or alternative practices on public waters and public drainage ditches.  Landowners in Meeker County are encouraged to contact Matt Anderson at  Meeker SWCD if they are interested in pursuing financial assistance to put their buffers in place. 

The 2017 legislation also recognizes that some landowners may have hardships (such as weather) in meeting the public waters deadline.  Language also allows for an eight-month extension for implementation when a landowner or authorized agent has filed a riparian protection “compliance plan” with their local SWCD before November 1, 2017. Compliance waivers offer a buffer deadline extension until July 1, 2018.  Anderson stresses that extensions are not automatic.  Contact him to complete the proper paperwork for an extension waiver. 

The state buffer law requires a buffer on public waters by November 1, 2017 and a buffer on public drainage ditches by November 1, 2018.  

 For more information on the buffer law, including the cost-share program, contact Matt Anderson at Meeker SWCD, 320-535-3079.

Meeker SWCD Offering Cost Share for Cover Crops

The Meeker Soil and Water Conservation District is offering cost share assistance to local farmers for planting cover crops this fall.

Cover crops reduce soil erosion and conserve soil moisture.  They increase organic matter, improve soil health and reduce fertilizer costs.

Cost share assistance of up to $55 per acre is available now.  For more information about the program or to apply for the cost share assistance, contact Joe Norman at the SWCD office, 320-693-7287, extension 3078.

Cover Crops

Financial Assistance for Performance Analysis Available to Meeker County Farmers

The Meeker Soil and Water Conservation District has recently announced the availability of financial assistance for precision conservation planning to Meeker County farmers.

Meeker SWCD is partnering with AgSolver, the McKnight Foundation and Pheasants Forever to provide this innovative conservation tool to landowners.  The AgSolver Precision Business Planning tool utilizes the producer's as-planted, yield data and crop budget to analyze each field's financial performance.

Simply stated, a Precision Conservation Business Plan identifies land areas where conservation resource concerns align with poor financial performance.  It evaluates the financial outcomes of conservation practice options at a high resolution on the landscape.

To take advantage of this unique opportunity for financial assistance, contact Josh Pommier at the SWCD office, 320-693-7287, extension 3.