Fuchs - Sustaining the Livestock Industry in Stearns County
Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation DistrictDennis Fuchs, Administrator
Agenda Background Prioritizing and targeting resource concerns Feedlots and nutrient management Education and outreach Water quality Partners
Stearns County Population of 150,642 people 33 cities, 34 townships Ranked number one in Minnesota for: Farm receipts Milk cows Cattle and calves 860,493 total ac 3368 farms 708,284 ac farm land 527 lakes and wetlands 668 miles of rivers and streams
Problem Feedlot Targeting Minnesota Feedlot Annualized Runoff Model (MinnFARM) An Evaluation System to Estimate Annual Pollutant Loading and Prioritize Feedlot Pollution Potential Developed by USDA-ARS refined by UM Proximity to surface waters Coarse textured soils Impaired waters Source Water/Wellhead Protection Area USDA-SWCD Local Work Group/SWCD Board/Water Mgmt Plan/CFO/Producer motivation further refines priorities
Positive Impacts Ken Konz Vegetated Treatment Area32 lbs/year of phosphorus reduced
Financial Programs USDA-NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) State Cost Share Feedlot Water Quality Clean Water Fund EPA/MPCA 319
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)$3,000,000$2,500,000$2,000,000$1,500,000$1,000,000 $500,000 $0
Certified Crop Advisor/Ag Professional Training
Discovery Farm Program• Nick & Tara Meyer dairy farm• Includes an edge-of-fieldmonitoring of surface runoff andtile drainage water• Objective: gather water qualityinformation under real-worldconditions, providingpractical, credible, site-specificinformation to allow for betterfarm management Mark Lefebvre and Grant Pearson,decisions, supported by a better Stearns County SWCD, install the wing-understanding of the relationships wall for the flume which will be used tobetween land management and sample surface water runoffwater quality
On-Farm Network® Guided Corn Stalk Nitrate Test Identify management activities that will result in improved nitrogen use efficiency in corn production, thereby reducing the potential for nitrate loss to groundwater and surface water. In 2010, 16 producers implemented this practice on 52 fields in Stearns County. In 2011 over 80 fields Grant Pearson and Mark Lefebvre, Stearns County SWCD, take guided corn stalk samples after maturity for an MRBI participant to determine whether sufficient nitrogen was available to the crop.
Agricultural Environmental Quality Assurance A voluntary program for producers to assist producers in the assessment of their management practices for water, soil, odor & air, habitat and community image concerns Provide assurance to governmental entities/public that farms are managed to protect the environment.
Anaerobic Digester Pilot research demonstration on averaged sized dairy (50 to 300 cows) Reduce environmental concerns and provide economic benefits to farmers and rural communities. Funding by (LCCMR) NRCS Environmental Quality Linda & Jerry Jennissen Incentives Program Jer-Lindy Farms North Fork Crow River Watershed District Stearns County SWCD. Field Day was held for participants with over 325 people are estimated to have attended.
Number of Cows 70Thousands (no.) 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1950s 2000s
Water Quality Trends The 2010 MPCA’s Citizen Lake Monitoring Program 4 lakes show water quality declining 22 show no water quality trends 20 show water quality improvement (In 2003, only 5 lakes showed water quality trend improvement)
The historical annual TP load from the Melrose SewageTreatment Plant (STP) discharge was estimated at 75mt/yr (MPCA, 1985). If it were evenly distributed acrossmonths, the May-September STP load would have been31 mt, as compared with the apparent 46 ± 10 mtreduction in the SRCL inflow load. While the differencemay not be significant in the context of uncertainties in theflow and load data, it is possible that the additional loadreduction reflected implementation of nonpoint sourcecontrols in the watershed over this same period. Thedivergence of the load vs. flow regressions at highflows shown in Figure 9 supports that hypothesisbecause nonpoint sources would be expected todominate under those conditions.- Walker, William. Development of Phosphorus TMDL for The Sauk RiverChain of Lakes, Minnesota, 2009
Water Quality Trends – P(Sauk River Chain of Lakes) 500 440 400Phosphorus (ppb) 300 200 177 121 100 0 1983 1995 2005 Goal 60 ppb?
Hoboken Creek WatershedStearns County SWCD received a grantin 2010 to identify which BestManagement Practices wouldadequately improve the quality ofrunoff from agriculture watershedswith impaired waters. The Hobokenstudy concluded that achieving the 65percent phosphorus reduction goal forthe Sauk Lake TMDL may beunattainable, even if the entirewatershed were to be planted tonative grasses.
PartnersUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Staff
Partners: State Agencies Board of Water and Soil Resources Minnesota Department of Agriculture Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Minnesota Department of Health
Partners Pheasants Forever (PF) Farm Bill Biologist
Partners NGOs Environmental Initiative Minnesota Waters The Nature Conservancy Ducks Unlimited Great River Greening Resource Conservation and Development Councils Engineering firms And many others!