Isanti Soil & Water Conservation District

Call our office to learn about grants and technical assistance for cover crops, wetland restorations, grassed waterways, buffer strips and much more.

More financial information for funding available to agriculture land owners can be found on the Financial Assistance page on our website.


Cover Crops

Cover Crop just planted in Beans 9 9 20

We have funding available to implement cover crops! Cover crops have been scientifically proven to improve the health of your soil. They prevent erosion, improve soil structure, help with water infiltration, increase nutrient content, and much more. 

We have multiple funding opportunities available for cover crops. Call us today if you are interested! If you do not qualify for our current programs, we can contact you when we have new opportunities available. We can also help you with any technical questions you have.

In 2020 we had a Cover Crop program, and with it we were able to plant 640 acres of cover crops in Isanti County! You can read about our success and the programs' Guidelines Read testimonies of those in our cover crop program here.

For any inquiries contact Matthew Remer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 763-689-3271.

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP)MAWQCP logo

This is a voluntary program designed to help protect Minnesota’s water by implementing and maintaining farm management practices. This program pairs well with Isanti SWCD’s other initiatives to protect water quality in shoreline and urban landscapes.

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.

Applying for the program and meeting with a Certification Specialist is free and does not require an obligation from the landowner or operator. If you would like to learn more about the program and how you can get water quality certified, please contact Matthew Remer at 763-689-3271 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Isanti SWCD is proud of our Certified farmers!


Larson Roger MAWQCP   Dennis and Marsha Haubenschild   IMG 0810   Wayne Anderson 2


Ecosystem Services Market Consortium


The goal of the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) is to create ecosystem service markets that incentivize producers to improve soil health, benefiting both the farmer and society. What sets this program apart is its focus not just on carbon but also water quality, habitat preservation, and biodiversity production. In this program producers will get paid for adopting new conservation and soil health practices. 

ESMC presents a triple-win: farmers gain access to technical assistance and additional revenue streams while enhancing the resilience of their operations; corporate credit buyers can  meet their sustainability goals; and the public benefits from cleaner air and water and climate change mitigation. If you would like to get started call our office at 763-689-3271. 

You can read more about the program here.

Drill Rental

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

Overall 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 seeds, the Truax is equipped with two hoppers:
"Small seed box" for dense seed such 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 $161.82 security
deposit is due at the time of rental.

Rental is limited to a 20 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, Matthew Remer at 763-689-3271 or 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 Public 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

buffer image from internet

Ag Best Management Practices (AgBMP) Loan Program

The AgBMP Loan 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 Tiffany Determan at: 763-689-3271.Medvecky Cropped

Free Conservation Planning Assistance available for residents in North Branch and Oxford Townships

North Branch and Oxford Township residents can contact Mary Jo Youngbauer to discuss concerns that you have about your property. During an on-site visit, she can inventory your resource concerns, discuss options for improvements, and help find cost share funding sources. Mary Jo can be reached via phone at 651-401-3329 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Lower St Croix River Watershed Conservation Planning Initiative is a collaborative effort of partners in the Lower St. Croix 1W1P:

  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts (Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Pine, and Washington)
  • County governments (Chisago, Isanti, Pine, and Washington)
  • Watershed districts (Brown’s Creek, Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix, Comfort Lake-Forest Lake, and South Washington)
  • Watershed management organizations (Middle St. Croix, Sunrise River)

Click here for a downloadable brochure.

 Rum RIM- Conservation Easements

campground Rum river

Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) easements are administered through SWCDs.  Landowners are compensated for restoring certain marginal or environmentally sensitive lands.  Easements are generally permanent. Currently, Reinvest in Minnesota is targeting areas in the Rum River drainage area. More information about funding and the application process can be found on our "Financial Assistance" page on the website. Some easements for areas that do not qualify for Reinvest in Minnesota may be available through the Minnesota Land TrustCheck the RIM website for more information.

State Cost-Share Program
The District receives funds from the State Cost Share Program to encourage conservation practice installation. A variety of projects that prevent erosion or improve water quality are eligible. This can include: Water and Sediment Control Basins, Cover Crops, Tillage Management, Filter Strips, Wetland Restoration, Well Sealing.

Federal and USDA Programs
Our partners at the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service offer a number of financial incentive programs for projects and practices that benefit environmental quality.  The Isanti SWCD is co-located with NRCS. They can offer help with: Conservation Planning, Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). More information on these programs can be found on the Financial Assistance page on our website.

Contact the NRCS at: 763-689-3354



Helpful Resources:

The Agricultural BMP Handbook for Minnesota

USDA NRCS Minnesota:

The Univeristy of Minnesota Extension has information on a wide vairtiety of agriculture topics: Extension at the University of Minnesota ( 

University of Minnesota has released their 2018 variety crop trial results. This link will take you to the post where you will be able to find corn, soybeans, alfalfa, silage corn, spring wheat, barley, oats, or winter wheat. These trials look for several beneficial traits from the varieties; from yield stability and disease resistance to maturity duration. The field trials are conducted throughout Minnesota and include locations in Southern, Central and Northern regions.


What is in this section: 

Cover Crops

Minnesota Agriculture Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP)

Ecosystem Services Market Consortium 

Drill Rental


Ag Best Management Practices (AgBMP) Loan Program

Free Conservation Planning Assistance available for residents in North Branch and Oxford Townships

State Cost-Share Program

Conservation Easements

Federal and USDA Programs (Conservation Planning, EQIP, CRP, CSP)

Helpful Resources



Other program information:

Cover Crop Demonstration Plot Program:

Cover crop information from the Minnesota Soil Health Coalition 

Cover crop demonstration plots from the NRCS


Green Lake Nutrient Reduction Program:

The Isanti SWCD is looking to improve the health of Green Lake by reducing the amount of nutrients going into the lake. Excess phosphorus is leading to algae blooms and decreasing the water quality. In most cases our program can cover 100% of the cost to install a conservation project. The projects that we can fund include cover crops, filter strips, grassed waterways, water and sediment control basins, wetland restorations and reduced till/no-till. 

If you are interested in helping out please contact Matthew Remer at: 763-689-3271 or

Eligible areas are shaded in gray below. 

319 Area