2016 Mower SWCD Annual Report
NRCS, Mower SWCD seeking ag producers, landowners for final MRBI grant year
Mower County agricultural producers and landowners in the Root River, Rose Creek and Dobbins Creek subwatersheds are needed for participation in the final grant year of the Mississippi River Basin Initiative. Through MRBI, Mower SWCD and the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have worked with producers and landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality, restore wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat and sustain agricultural profitability in the Mississippi River basin. These efforts are targeted for high-priority watersheds and ensure the economic viability of cropland and rangeland.
Interested producers and landowners with property in the Root, Rose and Dobbins subwatersheds should contact Mower SWCD or NRCS-Mower County staff this spring to start working on the process for applying by this summer. The application period this year is for implementing projects in 2018 – the final year of the MRBI grant. Land in MRBI’s targeted subwatersheds is possibly eligible for enhanced cost assistance on practices.
CLICK on one of the maps below to see a bigger version to help determine if your land is in that MRBI subwatershed.
Dobbins Creek Rose Creek Root River (south branch)
Mower SWCD, local farmers awarded Cover Crop Champion grant
Cover crops and soil health will get more attention in 2017 thanks to a Cover Crop Champion grant awarded to Mower SWCD to work with Mower County farmers Tom Cotter and Tom Finnegan on giving presentations throughout the region.
National Wildlife Federation awards the grants to help make farmers and others more aware of the numerous benefits of incorporating cover crops into a farming operation.
Read more in the media release.
Cover crops on Tom Cotter's farm in Austin Township.
Cedar River One Watershed, One Plan
Work has begun on developing a watershed-based plan for managing water in the Cedar River Watershed as required by a new state initiative. Mower, Dodge, Freeborn and Steele counties along with their Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are leading the process that also involves
Cedar River Watershed District, Turtle Creek Watershed District and City of Austin.
Click below for more information:
Cedar River One Watershed, One Plan
Cedar River 1W1P Policy Committee: 1:00 PM meeting April 24, Riverland Community College - West in Austin
Mower SWCD ready to help with state buffer law
Minnesota's new state buffer law is nearing its first compliance deadline on Nov. 1, 2017, for public waterways requiring at least 30 feet of vegetation and an overall average of 50 feet. Public waters are those listed on the Minnesota DNR's official buffer map.
All public drainage ditches will need at least 16.5 feet (one rod) of buffer by Nov. 1, 2018.
State statute says a "perennially vegetated root" must be on the buffer area.
Mower County landowners with questions on the state buffer law should contact Mower SWCD's buffer coordinator Aaron Gamm at 507-434-2603 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those with land possibly not in compliance got notification letters in late January 2017.
Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources buffer site (BWSR)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources buffer mapping (DNR)
Mower SWCD media releases on buffer law:
First buffer 'alternative practice' approved in Mower County (Jan. 13, 2017)
Buffers column by Mower SWCD district manager (Dec. 29, 2016)
Star Tribune buffer article focused on Mower County/Mower SWCD (Oct. 8, 2016)
Mower SWCD helps host informational buffer meetings (July 19, 2016)
Mower County buffer compliance about 94 percent (March 14, 2016)