Gaining ground: Stevens SWCD cropland erosion fixes catching on

In the Pomme de Terre River watershed near Morris, Clean Water Funds and federal assistance support prioritized projects targeting Perkins Lake. Farmers are seeing the benefits of conservation that mends gullies and slows runoff; impaired waters benefit from nutrient reductions.

Three men stand in a field with construction equipment in the background
From left: Stevens SWCD Administrator Matt Solemsaas, West Central Technical Service Area 2 engineering technician Steve Linow and Stevens County farmer Darrick Henrichs checked progress of water and sediment control basin installation in a Rendsville Township field on Aug. 8, 2022, near Donnelly. The project is part of Stevens SWCD’s targeted approach to improving ag drainage and water quality within the Pomme de Terre watershed. A Clean Water Fund grant BWSR awarded to the Pomme de Terre River Association Joint Powers Board supports the work. EQIP assistance from NRCS is also in play. Leveraged funding covers 75% of the cost; landowners pay the balance. Photo Credit: Ann Wessel, BWSR
Thirty-three percent of sales tax revenue from the Legacy Amendment, which Minnesota voters passed in 2008, is allocated to the Clean Water Fund. Clean Water Funds may only be spent to protect, enhance or restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams, and to protect groundwater.
A culvert and cattails frame still blue water
The Pomme de Terre River, seen here on Aug. 8 just downstream from the Stevens SWCD project on Darrick Henrichs land, flows through nearby Perkins Lake. The river and lake are both impaired for nutrients. Photo Credit: Ann Wessel, BWSR
An aerial view of a field shows dark lines marking trenches for tile
An aerial view shows the trenches where tile was installed as part of the Clean Water Fund-supported work that involved eight water and sediment control basins installed in Darrick Henrichs’ field. The project is designed to curb field erosion and improve water quality. Photo Credit: Stevens SWCD
Dried corn stalks serve as residue on the field where a construction crew can be seen in the background
Residue from last season’s corn crop helped to prevent erosion in Darrick Henrichs’ Stevens County field, where a wet spring made a prevent-plant necessary this season. After a series of water and sediment control basins was installed in mid-August, Henrichs prevent-planted winter cereal rye as a cover crop. Next spring, he’ll no-till soybeans into the cover crop, and then spray to kill the rye once the soybeans emerge. Henrichs is working with NRCS on soil health practices including no-till and cover crops. Photo Credit: Ann Wessel, BWSR
Leaves frame a view of a dock that extends from the sandy shore
Perkins Lake, seen here on Aug. 8 from a park, is impaired for nutrients. Photo Credit: Ann Wessel, BWSR
Two backhoes are at the edge of a ditch where two men stand with shovels
A crew from the excavating contractor Hormann Works LLC of Dumont made adjustments necessary after a 2-inch rain that fell while the project was under construction. Photo Credit: Ann Wessel, BWSR
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ mission is to improve and protect the state’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.
www.bwsr.state.mn.us

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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Our mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.