The Pope SWCD is taking orders now for spring delivery of trees and shrubs. Order now to receive a 10% discount on your order before December 10th. Ask for Kelly Erickson 320-634-5327 Kelly can come to your home and look at your site and prepare a free planting plan.
§103F.48 RIPARIAN PROTECTION AND WATER QUALITY PRACTICES
1. COMPLIANCE TRACKING OF ALL PARCELS SUBJECT TO THE BUFFER LAW
All parcels in the county are to be reviewed within a 3‐year timeframe. The SWCD will review all parcels once every 3 years. This will coincide with the new aerial imagery received by the Farm Service Agency. Google Earth may also be utilized or the Counties Pictometry Imagery.
2. RANDOM SPOT CHECKS
Random spot checks will be done in addition to the tracking of all parcels within a 3‐year span. These checks may be conducted via aerial photo review or on‐site review depending on availability of updated aerial photos and the practice that is being checked/access to farms. A combination of both aerial and on‐site review may also be used.
a. The SWCD will conduct 25‐50 parcels on a random spot check each year outside of the scheduled area.
Note: ** There are 4,445 applicable parcels in Pope County.
b. Additionally, the SWCD should review parcels of emphasis more frequently.
No‐till/Conservation tillage or cover crop alternative practice plans
Variable width buffers (i.e. Land O’ Lakes buffer tool, Decision Support Tool)
Other Alternative Practice Plans
Cost‐share funded projects (years 1,5,9 of contract)
Parcels of further emphasis (potential violators)
3. PROCESS TO HANDLE COMPLAINTS
- Pope SWCD will investigate public complaints related to buffer law compliance but documenting the compliant including, location, landowner, potential violation, etc. Pope SWCD will then further investigate the compliant by aerial review, landowner calls, and field site checks.
- If a violation of buffer law non‐compliance is found Pope SWCD will inform the enforcing agency (Pope Land and Resource Management, North Fork Crow River Watershed District or Sauk River Watershed District) and the Board of Water and Soil Resources. A non‐compliance form will be filled out along with a map of the parcel and will be provided to the enforcing entity for follow up with the landowner.
- Appeals will be handled by the regulatory entity with Pope SWCD staff providing technical information regarding the buffer law and the project site as requested.
For more information contact Pope SWCD at 320-634-5327.
Thistles have been introduced in the 48 contingent states since the early 19th century. Originally from Eurasia, as far reaching as Mongolia and southward to North Africa, these plants have made their way to the United States most likely as stow-a-ways in ballast water of ships. There are two types of thistles, biennial and perennial. Biennial thistles have a life cycle that only lasts for two years and a perennial thistle’s life cycle lasting greater than two. Commonly occurring biennial thistles in Pope County are Plumeless, Bull and Musk thistle. Plumeless thistle, Asteraceae Carduus acanthoides, is the major noxious weed that has management priority. It is one of the shorter growing thistles with upright stalks typically between 1 to 4 feet in height. The dark green leaves are deeply lobed. The spines on the stem and on the edges of the leaves give it a winged appearance. Bull thistle grows to a height of 6 feet displaying alternate, deeply lobed and greatly toothed leaves with a large stiff spine at the leaf tip. The characteristic look is defined by downward pointing spines of the bull thistle. Musk thistle contains large reddish brown bracts under the flower head that resemble pine cones. The flower head droops at an angle up to 120° giving a nickname of Nodding thistle. Biennial thistles solely reproduce through seed production. They can produce 8,000-120,000 achene seeds depending on thistle type and favorable environment. Perennial thistles differ in reproduction methods because they reproduce through seeds and through the roots sprouts. Commonly occurring perennial thistles are Canada, Flodman, and Wavyleaf thistles. Canada thistle can flower from the bolting stage after 16 hours of a light period. Flodman and Wavyleaf thisltles are native to North America. One characteristic of Wavyleaf thistle is the gray appearance gained from its immensely hairy stems. The flower head of the Wavyleaf thistle also contains yellow spines whereas the Flodman thistle has defining leaves that are 90° lobed and are shiny green in color.
Control for both biennial and perennial thistles is essential. Prevention is key. Keeping pastures and road right-of-ways healthy with dense native stands is a good way to prevent invasion. If and when thistles begin to invade and displace native species cultural controls such as mowing, tillage, crop rotation and controlled burns can be implemented. Controlled burns will establish a more uniform cover to prepare the area for herbicide treatment. Biological controls, for example various varieties of weevils and gall flies, take many years to establish a population and have been found to be ineffective. Chemical control is most valuable at rosette stage or before fall frost when mature plants are vulnerable. Due to perennial thistle plants having an established reproductive root system, it is imperative to also treat or remove the roots. Therefore, control of biennial and perennial thistles cannot be carried out using the same method. It is always best to use an integrated management program when controlling invasive weeds. If you have any questions or concerns about thistle species and ways to manage them please contact either Jessica Hoheisel with Pope Soil and Water Conservation District at 320-634-5327, Barry Bouwmann with Pope Land and Resource Management at 320-634-7791, or Andy Albertson with Swift Soil and Water Conservation District at 320-843-2458.
Rosholt Research Farm celebrates its 50 year anniversary of existence in May this year. Rosholt Research Farm located near Westport in Pope Country was purchased by Pope, Kandiyohi and Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) on May 27, 1968. The motivation to purchase property was to conduct soil and water research.
The 40 acre research farm, now solely owned by Pope SWCD, has the necessary uniform soil type, soil depth, topography and adequate water for irrigation research.
Research at the farm has involved many partners over the years including: USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS), University of MN Pope County Extension, US Forest Service, WesMin RC&D, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, University of Minnesota, Prairies Lakes Co-op, and Pope and Stearns County SWCDs.
Nitrogen and water quality research is presently being conducted at Rosholt. The goal is to evaluate the management of nitrogen fertilizers and cover crops in irrigated crop production systems and their impacts on groundwater resources. The objective is to quantify the impact of living mulch (kura clover), cover crop (cereal rye), or no cover crop on nitrate leaching and nitrogen management for irrigated row crops. The project is intended to provide local information to help improve fertilizer management in irrigated row crop production systems.
Data collection for the current research began in 2016 and is designed to be collected through 2020. However, Clean Water funding from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is only secure through 2018. Pope and Stearns County SWCD’s are currently collecting input on updating Rosholt Research Farm’s long term vision plan. This plan will assist in securing funding to continue the current research project and future research at Rosholt Research Farm.
For more information on the Rosholt Research Farm please visit Pope SWCD’s website at http://popeswcd.org/program/rosholt-research-farm/.