During this time of social distancing, for the health and safety of our customers and staff the door is locked for visitors at this time.
Please conduct any SWCD business you can by email or telephone (320) 634-5327 or 320-634-5143 option #3
Please call to make an appointment by phone or email.
Please understand that staff hours might vary during this time of social distancing.
If you have questions about tree orders you can call the office to talk to Kelly or on his cell at 320-760-3002. We ask that if you have a payment to make then please send it in the mail.
We are working so please try to reach us using these other methods. We want to be able to assist you in the best way that we can at this time.
The Pope SWCD is offering a 10% discount on tree orders done by December 10th, 2019 for spring 2020 delivery. Call our office today at 320-634-5327 and ask for Kelly.
Pope SWCD is working alongside the U of M and Stearns SWCD on studying the benefits of a new crop called Kernza. The study being done at our Rosholt research farm in Westport is to test the amount of nitrate leaching present in perennial crop productions. This spring we started with preparing the site and planted wheat after a corn/soybean rotation. This early fall we were then able to assist in the planting of the Kernza plots. Our office looks forward to what we can learn about Kernza and what this crop will be able to do for not only agriculture but for water quality.
The three goals of the Kernza project are: 1) Test that Kernza and other native seeds are more effective at reducing nitrate leaching than alfalfa and prairie under irrigated and rain-fed conditions by measuring nitrate samples collected from lysimeters. This work is being done by U of M and Pope SWCD staff. 2) Establish Kernza fields within the City of Cold Spring’s DWSMA and near the City of St. cloud’s Water Treatment Plant. These sites will be monitored for leaching and field production by the Stearns SWCD staff. 3) Examine Kernza as a food ingredient (bread, cereal pasta, beer, etc.) and non-food (straw) with MN companies and map local processor capabilities, opportunities, and barriers. Characterize and provide technical information on handling, storage, formulation, and shelf life of Kernza product development concepts. Supply nutritional profiles for food/beverage containing Kernza and conduct sensory analysis. The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) will take lead.
Kernza is a domesticated variety of intermediate wheatgrass. This grain is already attracting attention from restaurants, bakeries, and breweries as being a new perennial grain. What is unique about this sod-forming grass is the very deep roots, growing to a depth of 10 feet. With such deep roots the plant is able to capture and use nitrate in the soil that otherwise leach into our groundwater. Excessive nitrate in groundwater can cause health problems and treatment for drinking water can be expensive. For more information please contact our office at 320-634-5143.