Isanti Soil & Water Conservation District

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.

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.

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP)MAWQCP logo

On December 12th, the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District hosted an informational meeting in partnership with Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Minnesota Department of Agriculture for local farmers and agricultural landowners to learn about the 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 Thomas Zimmermann, Conservation Technician 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


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 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: