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Nov 13

Alternative Ideas For Conservation

Posted on November 13, 2017 at 4:50 PM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 11/13/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

Tuesday, November 21, the County Board of Commissioners - serving as the drainage authority - will review the county's annual single-year assessments and multi-year levies for 2018.  We will describe this process in next week's blog.


Project Updates


  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Crews were able to get the concrete weir installed last week.  The crews will now be focusing their attention on finishing the small final punch list items.  The new 48” concrete and HDPE pipe line got televised last week, we are still waiting on results from that.  See picture below of newly installed Notch Weir.

cd28 new weir 2

  • CD12 (Mankato Twp.)  The contractor has pretty much all of the open ditch cleaned out at this point.  Some additional tree removal and spot cleaning might be needed.  The contractor will be working this week to get all the scheduled driveway crossings installed.  It’s amazing the difference the ditch cleaning made for this drainage system. 


Silver Lining for Suspended CCRP:

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and FSA (Farm Service Agency) made an announcement in October that they are suspending, temporarily, enrollment into the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program or CCRP.  Despite the temporary suspension of CCRP and its popularity, MN CREP is a very nice alternative.  CREP is short for Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, and this program is perpetual or permanent.

MN CREP’s payment rates for marginal lands are very enticing for landowners looking for a different answer to CCRP.  The CREP program already covers over 60,000 acres in Minnesota, providing buffer areas along ditches, streams, rivers and other areas and providing a natural water quality aspect. 

CREP may not fit the needs of everyone.  The permanent nature of the program is oftentimes one of the reasons people won’t sign up.  MN CREP is actively seeking applicants in 54 counties in southern and southcentral Minnesota, including Blue Earth County. 

Of course, CREP is just one of many programs that a landowner can sign up for.  If you’re a landowner looking to install some conservation acres, visit your local FSA or SWCD offices and ask about additional voluntary, long-term conservation solutions.  Click links below for more information.

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of November 6 – November 10:


  • JD36 (Cambria Twp.)  I inspected a report of a beaver dam issue.  Found a very large beaver dam and lodge. 
  • CD36 (Butternut Valley Twp.) Open ditch slough issues and tile issues.
  • CD86 (Decoria Twp.)  Contractor has finished the open ditch cleaning project and will spread the spoils next spring sometime before planting season.
  • CD93 (Decoria Twp.)  Our contractor has moved from CD86 up to CD93 to do open ditch cleaning on this system.
  • CD12 (Mankato Twp.)  Our open ditch cleaning project started last week.  New crossings should start being installed sometime later this week or first part of next week.  Amazing how different this system looks after multiple feet of sediment was removed and widened to original capacity.
  • JD48 (Butternut Valley Twp.)  I was called out to a property to inspect some larger sections of old, original concrete county tile that have been collapsing and creating sink holes.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  I like to stop in and check on project status at least three times a week.


Please call with issues you observe on our public drainage system, as there is a lot of open ditch and tile in our county and only two of us in the drainage department.  We will do our absolute best to service your issues and concerns as we receive them.


We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist