2017 Conservationist

VanRavenswaay named Chippewa County Conservationist of the Year

The Chippewa SWCD presents Carl Van Ravenswaay as Conservationist of the Year for 2017.

Carl, wife Wendy, and their children live near Montevideo. Carl farms a corn-bean rotation with some black beans using conventional tillage on 2,450 acres that he shares in a joint venture with Halvorson Management.

Carl is active in using conservation practices including water and sediment control basins,terraces, waterways, tree plantings, filter strips, CRP,buffers and food plots. Carl also custom feeds hogs,completes annual soil testing, and utilizes covercrops, knife injected manure spreading, and integrated pest management.

In 2017, he worked with the Soil and Water Conservation District, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and the landowners to install a series of conservation practices. Carl utilized the SWCD’s State Cost Share program and NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to install two narrow grass back terraces totaling 2,035 feet and two water and sediment control basins.

Through the SWCD’s Disaster Recovery Assistance Program (DRAP) a 300 foot water and sediment control basin was also installed. Carl worked with NRCS and through CRP he helped to install 2,337 feet of grass waterway adjacent to the Chippewa River. He also seeded down a grass filter strip. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 Carl completed 1,303 acres of both Nutrient and Pest Management through EQIP and the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).

Carl played a key role in the processes of installing these projects. He was very patient and understanding throughout the process. He coordinated contract paperwork, estimates and bids between the landowners, the contractors, and the SWCD and NRCS office. He took it upon himself to do some of the legwork and helped with some of the steps to complete them.

The SWCD and NRCS appreciates the work that Carl puts into not only his land but his rented land as well.

Board Chair Scott Roelofs presents Carl and Wendy Van Ravenswaay at the December SWCD Board Meeting

 

2016 Conservationist

Andresen named Chippewa County Conservationist of the Year

Mike Andresen, of Montevideo, has been named the

2016 Chippewa SWCD Conservationist of the Year.

The Chippewa Soil and Water Conservation District

nominated Andresen, and he received the honor at

the Minnesota Association of Soil & Water Conservation

District’s (MASWCD) annual state convention recently held in

Bloomington. He was one of 64 other conservationists who were

honored from other counties in the state.

Andresen farms a corn and soybean rotation with conservation

tillage on 125 acres. He has previously been an Minnesota Pollution

Control Agency water quality volunteer. In 2015 he worked with

NRCS and the SWCD to install two water and sediment control

basins and one grade stabilization structure. He also installed

a native grass wildlife habitat planting and seeded a critical area

planting in 2015. From 2013 to 2015 he maintained

nutrient/pest management on 205 acres.

Andresen has 4,700 feet of established field windbreaks on

one of his farms, as well as a farmstead shelterbelt. He has a

total of 74.86 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program

(CRP) and has 28 acres of pasture land. Mike is also a conservation

contractor and did all of his own work, installing the erosion

control practices on his own.

Andresen is also an avid sportsman. Recently, Mike and fellow

members of the Tri-County Sportsman Club built and opened

Mills Creek Gun Range on five acres of Mike’s land just north of

Montevideo. He was recognized locally at the SWCD board

meeting in early December with a gift from the

Chippewa SWCD, which was a rustic, custom made sign that was

made out of black walnut, deer antlers, and a painting of a whitetail

deer scene by local craftsman and artist Doug Pederson.

Mike Andresen, of Montevideo, has established conservation practices

on much of his land in Chippewa County, including 28 acres of

pasture land and 74.86 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program.

Scott Roelofs (right), district supervisor of the Chippewa SWCD, presented

Mike Andresen with a gift that Andresen will display in his hunting

shack.

 

Buffer Cost Share and Extensions

EXTENSIONS

Buffer extensions are available on protected waters only. Protected waters are to be seeded by November 1, 2017. If you may need an extension please submit a written request to the Chippewa SWCD Board of Supervisors. Please include a location/map, the reason for needing the extension, and your plan for becoming compliant. Extensions give landowners until July 1, 2018 to be in compliance.

Extension requests will be reviewed by the board and landowners will be notified of approval and/or denial. All extension requests should be either mailed to or dropped off at the Chippewa SWCD office on or before September 29, 2017 to allow the board time to approve or deny them prior to the November 1st deadline.

The Chippewa SWCD office address is: 629 N. 11th Street, Suite 7, Montevideo, MN 56265.

BUFFER COST SHARE

Update: As of March 5, 2018, all allocated cost share has been encumbered.

Buffer cost share is now available for both protected waters and county ditches. Buffer cost share in Chippewa County will be $300 per acre. Cost share is to be used for seed, seeding, and maintenance of the buffer. Cost share is available only one time per acre. The acres allowed for cost share are only those needed to bring the landowner into compliance with the buffer law.  If you are interested please contact the office to be put on the list as there are a limited amount of funds available. Cost share will be paid out after the buffer has been established and approved by the Chippewa SWCD. Seed tags will be required to be turned in to the SWCD. The office can be reached by calling 320-269-2139 extension 3.

Buffer Law Updates

For more information on the buffer law please take a look at the Board of Water & Soil Resources website and the Minnesota DNR website by following the links below.

http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/buffers/

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/buffers/index.html

 

 

Seeding Services

SWCD Offers Seed Sales & Seeding as a New Service

The Chippewa County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) is now offering Landowners the opportunity to buy native grass seed and other cool and warm season mixes. Landowners also have the option to have seed planted by the SWCD.

Chippewa SWCD can plant warm and cool season grass plantings as well as certain wildlife food plot mixtures ranging from small seed mixes on up to large seed mixes.

Drill service includes 1 operator, tractor and drill.  The price for seeding is charged by the amount of acres planted plus mobilization fees:

    • $100 flat mobilization fee within Chippewa County (add $1.00 per mile for out of County Projects)
    • $25/acre planting fee ($100 minimum planting fee for 4 acres and less)
  • If a landowner chooses to purchase seed through the SWCD, the prices will vary on seed type and quantity.

 

Seeding Dates:

Warm season grasses require soil temperatures of at least 50 degrees before they will germinate. This is 8 to 10 degrees warmer than the requirement for cool season grasses. Therefore, the optimal seeding time for planting warm season grasses, either alone or in combination with cool season grasses, usually occurs between mid-spring and early summer when moisture and temperature are most favorable.  May 15th to June 30th is the typical window for planting warm season grasses in this area.

Note: Late April through June is a busy time for the district.  The tree program is usually in full swing at the same time CRP and other grass plantings need to be planted.  Contacting the district early on to get on the list for planting is crucial.  Unfortunately there will be a limit to how many acres can be planted each spring by the district.

Seedbed Condition:

Note: It is the landowners’ responsibility to prepare a decent seedbed before planting.

A firm seedbed is very important when seeding native grasses.  The districts Truax seed drill needs a firm seedbed in order to turn the double disc openers properly which is crucial for seed planting depth.  A firm seedbed also helps conserve moisture and ensure good seed to soil contact which is critical for adequate germination and an overall successful planting.  IMPORTANT: Recently tilled ground should be packed with a coil or roller packer, or something equivalent prior to planting. The seedbed is considered firm enough when an adult’s footprint penetrates no more than 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep.  For example: untilled bean stubble works great for seeding with the Truax drill.

 

To order seed or get on the seeding list, please contact Zach or Tom at:

320-269-2139 ext.105 – Zach

320-269-2139 ext.115 – Tom

Plant A Tree

What steps do you take if you are planning a conservation tree planting?

  1. Decide where and what you are doing: a windbreak, windbreak renovation, field windbreak or wildlife planting.
  2. Call the conservation office for an appointment to set up a time to go over the site.
  3. A plan will be drawn up, trees recommended, soil map checked to determine what kind of trees will grow there and amount of room needed.
  4. Site preparation is done in the fall or spring.
  5. Trees are ordered in the fall for spring delivery. The earlier the order, the better chance of receiving the tree varieties you want.
  6. Trees are planted in the spring. We have a tree planter and planting charges are included in the cost of the trees. (We hand plant for $1.00 per 1 gallon potted evergreen and $2.00 per 2 gallon potted evergreen.)
  7. Tree maintenance includes keeping them weed free and watered as needed. Several ways of keeping them weed free is using rolls of fabric matting, tree matt squares, or chemical control.

Kids Poster Contest

2016 Poster Contest ThemeNACD Logo_Final_PTHS

 

“We All Need Trees”

2016 5th Grade Poster Contest Winners

Past Conservationist

Steve Nokleby, 2013 Conservationist of the Year.

steve-noklebyThe Chippewa Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors chose to pay tribute to the memory of Steve Nokleby and nominated  him as their recipient of the 2013 Conservationist of the Year Award.   Steve served on the Chippewa SWCD Board of Supervisors from 2001 to 2013.  Steve passed away in March of 2013.

Steve was previously honored as the Conservationist of the Year in 1989.  Nokleby farmed in Mandt township in Chippewa County.  At that time, Steve used ridge till to control wind and water erosion and developed a more complete resource management system. Steve was one of the first to use no-till practices in Mandt township.   He used no-till and ridge till methods to enhance resource benefits, cut his operational expenses and save time.  Steve started farming in partnership with his dad, Arnold in 1974.  In 1989, he was recognized for other conservation practices such as farmstead windbreaks, and CRP filter strips.

Steve was active in Corn Growers Association, Soybean Growers Association, Farm Bureau and Jevnaker Lutheran church, a long-time Pioneer Seed and Precision Planting Dealer.

More recently, Steve participated in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) enrolling 250 acres of No till, Nutrient Management and Pest Management.  He also enrolled 1003.6 acres in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and completed enhancements such as using nitrogen stabilizers and doing plant tissue testing for nitrogen management

Nokleby FieldDuring his tenure on the Chippewa SWCD Board, Steve served as the Chippewa River Watershed Project Committee representative.  He was a strong supporter of the work done by the Chippewa  River Watershed Project and was an advocate for finding ways to positively impact water quality in his operation.  Steve recognized that certain practices in the agricultural community could be improved upon and was very willing to try new practices.  In 2010, Steve partnered with the Chippewa River Watershed Project on a Drainage Water Management Project.  His project included the installation of three inline water level control structures in field that had existing pattern tile.  The retrofits to the system allowed Nokleby to vary the depth of the drainage outlet thoughout the year to maximize production and lower and have more influence on the runoff water leaving his system and entering downstream waters.  Steve’s common sense approach to conservation, his valuable input at watershed meetings, and his cooperative nature made him valued partner of the Chippewa River Watershed Project.

We lost a true conservation friend, Steve Nokleby.   Our deepest condolences to his wife Susan, son, Adam, and daughter, Jessica.

 

 

Soil Demo Video

View Chippewa SWCD Soil Demonstration

In this demo both samples are mapped as J51A Bearden-Quam, were collected on the same day and air dried. The sample on the left was taken from a corn, soybean, sugar beet, and wheat rotation with conventional tillage including fall chisel and spring field cultivating. The sample on the right was taken from a wildlife management area that was planted back to native grasses 6 years ago.

Check out our Annual Report!

2016 Annual Report

 

2015 Annual Report