Isanti Soil & Water Conservation District


Rural Resources

Isanti SWCD, along with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), works with producers and land owners to help identify and assist with solving agricultural resource concerns.  We may be able to assist with planning and funding in a number of different areas. If you are interested in an agricultural best management practice contact Thomas Zimmerman at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP)MAWQCP logo
Wednesday December 12, 2018
      9:00am – 11:00am

at Anoka-Ramsey Community College – Room E237

300 Spirit Dr. S, Cambridge MN 55008

On December 12th, the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District will be hosting an informational meeting for local farmers and agricultural landowners to learn about the voluntary program designed to protect Minnesota’s water by implementing and maintaining farm management practices. Coffee and refreshments to be served.

Participants in the program will receive:

  • Regulatory Certainty: Certified farms will be deemed in compliance should any new State water quality rules or laws be enacted during the 10-year period of certification.
  • Financial and technical assistance: Priority access to dollars and expertise for any farm practices that would improve water quality.
  • Recognition: Stewardship-minded farms will receive recognition from the community for their efforts and a sign that can be displayed on their property.

There is no obligation to sign up in order to attend; it is just an opportunity to learn how you can get involved in protecting water quality in Minnesota and become agricultural water quality certified.

For any questions and to RSVP contact Thomas Zimmermann, Conservation Technician at 763-689-3271 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are unable to attend but are still interested in the program, please contact me.

Register online

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) 

MAWQCPThe MAWQCP is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect our water.  Those who implement and maintain approved farm management practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. For more about this program visit the Minnesota Department of Health:  If you are interested in this program, contact the Isanti SWCD and we will put you in touch with a local Certification Specialist.  


Drill Rental

  This Truax FLXII-812 drill can be used for no-till planting, Conservation Reserve Program establishment, pasture/hay interseeding, buffer strips and pollinator habitat seeding.

It is 12’ wide and plants 8’ wide rows with 12 disks at 8” spacing. A 50hp tractor or bigger is needed to pull the Truax which has a pin hitch. Two hydraulic hoses have pioneer ends with o-ring attachment.

To facilitate multiple types of No Till Drill Frontseeds, the Truax is equipped with
two hoppers:

"Small seed box" for dense seedsuch as
clovers, millet, ryegrass and crested wheat.

"Native grasses box" for lighter
  grasses such as brome,
 switchgrass, bluestem, and
  sideoats grama.

RENTAL FEE: $12.00/acre;
$150.00 minimum within Isanti
County, $250.00 minimum
outside of Isanti County.
DEPOSIT: A $150.00 security
deposit is due at the time of rental.

Rental is limited to a 30 mile radius from the City of Isanti.  For safety reasons, we ask that you don't exceed 20mph when towing.

If you have any questions or would like to rent the drill, contact Isanti Conservation Technician, Thomas Zimmermann, at 763-689-3271 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Drill A   Drill B   Drill C



The Buffer Law was passed in 2015 and requires landowners to install buffer strips along State Protected Waters and Pubic Drainage Ditches.  In addition to providing habitat for many forms of wildlife, buffer strips filter nutrients, sediment and other pollutants from surface water runoff.  The law requires a 50-foot perennial vegetative buffer along public waters and a 16.5 foot buffer on public ditches.

For more information click here: Buffer Information

Ag Best Management Practices (AgBMP) Loan Program

The AgBMP Load Program provides low interest financing to farmers, agriculture supply businesses and rural landowners. The purpose is to encourage agricultural Best Management Practices that prevent or reduce runoff from feedlots, farm fields and other pollution problems identified by the county in local water plans.  The program provides loans up to $100,000 with a maximum interest rate of 3% interest plus usual customary fees charged by lenders.  Kanabec SWCD administers this program for Isanti SWCD.

Examples of eligible practices:  Composting structures, feedlot improvements, Livestock improvements, Nutrient management plans, Water Conservation or reuse, River bank or shoreline stabilization, and septic system upgrades or repairs.

For a full list of eligible practices and more information visit the MN Department of Agriculture Website: or call Anne LeRoy at: 763-689-3271 or 320-679-3982 

Conservation Planning

A good plan is the foundation of successful land management and natural resource protection.  Conservation plans include an inventory of the property with a skilled conservation professional to identify resource concerns, objectives and goals. In developing a conservation plan the existing production methods are combined with recommended conservation practices.  This helps producers make informed decisions to manage their operations unique natural resources, while allowing for sustainable growth, productivity and improvement.

Recommended conservation practices can provide benefits of improving soil health, water quality, forest stewardship and wildlife habitat.  Through conservation planning producers also learn of further NRCS programs that may assist with land management goals.

Medvecky Cropped

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

EQIP is a federal program administered by the NRCS and assisted by Isanti SWCD. 

EQIP provides technical assistance, cost share payments, and incentive payments to assist crop, livestock, and other agricultural producers with environmental and conservation improvements to their operations.  Incentive payments may be made to encourage a farmer to adopt land management practices.  This program offers the opportunity to implement traditional approaches but also to use less traditional, alternative practices to protect our soil, water, and related resources.

Eligible practices include but are not limited to:

                • Cover Crops
                • Irrigation Water Management
                • Prescribed Grazing
                • Invasive Species Management
                • Waste Storage Facilities
                • Residue Management-No-Till
                • Pollinator Habitat
                • Water and Sediment Control Basins

There are over 60 eligible practice that EQIP can provide assistance for.  Further information can be found on the Minnesota NRCS EQIP page:

Contact the NRCS at: 763-689-3354 ext. 3 to discuss how EQIP programs can help with your land.

crop rows


Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

CRP Wildflowers

The CRP and Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) are voluntary programs for agricultural landowners.  Landowners enrolled in these programs can receive annual rental payments based on the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Soil Rental Rates, and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland.

Eligible Practices include but are not limited to:

              • Field windbreaks
              • Grassed waterways
              • Filter Strips
              • Riparian Buffers
              • Pollinator Habitat

More information can be found in the MN NRCS CRP page:
Contact the Farm Service Agency (763-689-3354 ext. 2) to discuss eligible conservation practices and to see if you are eligible for CRP or CCRP.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

CSP is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to address resource concerns by undertaking additional conservation activities and improving/maintaining existing conservation systems.  Put another way, CSP looks at the conservation you are currently doing on your farm or woodlot, along with new activities that you are willing to do, and offers conservation payments based on these existing and new activities.  Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, and non-industrial forestland.

Eligible Practices include but are not limited to:

              • Wildlife Corridors
              • Pollinator Habitat
              • Continuous Cover Crops
              • Extended filter strips for water quality

Additional information can be found on the NRCS CSP page:
Contact the NRCS at: 763-689-3354 ext 3, to learn more about CSP practices that could work on your land.


Helpful Resources:

The Agricultural BMP Handbook for Minnesota:

USDA NRCS Minnesota: