Programs & Services



Planning, Sales and Planting

The Chippewa SWCD offers tree planting, design, and planning. The SWCD makes tree stock available for sales and offers a tree planting service. The SWCD technician works with landowners to access program funding for tree plantings. Cost-share may be available. To order trees, contact the office for more information about your specific site.

Living Snowfence

Have you noticed big snowdrifts near your property after a snowstorm? Are you concerned about your safety during a blizzard? Did you know that something can be done to stop blowing snow? Contact the SWCD office if you are experiencing roads in your area blowing shut from the winter’s snowfall.


The SWCD offers a fabric laying service as part of the “tree” services they provide to their customers. The fabric is 6 foot wide geo-textile material that allows moisture to pass thru it but does not allow weed growth to occur. Periodic mowing or lightly disking between the trees is still recommended to control weeds between the tree rows. The cost of the fabric installed is 60 cents per linear foot.

Keeping trees weed free and conserving moisture will only accelerate tree growth.

Custom Mowing |  Roto-Tilling  |  Disking

The SWCD has custom mowing, roto-tilling and disking services available for $75 per hour.

Seed Program

SWCD Offers Seed Sales & Seeding

The Chippewa County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) offers 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:

    • $125 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 320-269-2696.

Conservation Planning and Construction

The SWCD provides technical assistance to all landowners to:

  • Conduct a site investigation with the landowner/operator
  • Work with landowner to determine the best management practices possible for any given situation
  • Survey/design the project
  • Produce a rough cost-estimate
  • Provide landowner with a design plan for submission of bids
  • Perform a pre-construction conference with the contractor/landowner
  • Supervise construction and,
  • Certify completion of the project



Cost-Share Program

A variety of cost-share programs are available to help landowners pay for installing best management conservation practices. SWCD staff work with landowners to access funding through federal, state and local programs. The following is a list of approved Cost-share practices:

  • Critical Area Planting- Establishing permanent vegetation on sites that have or are expected to have high erosion rates, and on sites that have physical, chemical, or biological conditions that prevent the establishment of vegetation with normal planting practices.
  • Diversions- A channel constructed across the slope with a supporting ridge on the lower side.
  • Field Windbreaks- Linear plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs or sets of linear plantings.
  • Shelterbelts- Linear plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs or sets of linear plantings.
  • Grass Waterway- A natural or constructed channel that is shaped or graded to required dimensions and established in suitable vegetations for the stable conveyance of runoff.
  • Livestock Waste Management- The application of eligible conservation practice components to improve water quality associated with livestock wastewater and runoff.
  • Filter Strips- A strip or area of herbaceous vegetation situated between cropland, grazing land or disturbed land and environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Sediment Basins- A basin constructed to collect and store debris or sediment.
  • Streambank, Shoreland and Roadside Protection- Using vegetation or structures to stabilize and protect banks of streams, lakes, estuaries, or excavated channels against scour or erosion.
  • Stripcropping- Growing row crops, forages, small grains, or fallow in a systematic arrangement of equal width strips on or near the contour of the field slope. A strip of grass or grass/legumes or small grain is alternated with a strip of tilled annual crop or fallow.
  • Terraces- An earth embankment or a combination ridge an channel constructed across the field slope.
  • Unused Well Sealing- The sealing and permanent closure of a water well no longer in use.
  • Forestry Conservation Practice- Establishment or improvement of long term forestry practices to improve or protect water quality or control soil erosion.
  • Cover Crops- Annual species planted in agricultural fields to prevent wind erosion, increase water infiltration, build organic matter, and tie up nutrients in the soil.

Additional Programs

Observation Well Program

The SWCD contracts with the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to measure the water level in wells located in the county in areas where there are irrigation wells.

Rain Gauge Monitoring

Since 1977, the SWCD has maintained a network of volunteers who monitor and report precipitation amounts. The monthly reports are sent to the Minnesota Office of Climatology. The reports can be viewed on the State Climatology Office Web site.

Soils Information

The fieldwork for the Chippewa County’s soil survey was completed and complied into a published soil survey for distribution. The web soil survey can be found here.


Easement Programs

Chippewa County has participated in several of the State’s conservation easement programs. The CREP and RIM programs have resulted in over 8,000 acres of marginal agricultural lands being permanently retired.

Nutrient Management Planning

Assist landowners in developing nutrient management plans.