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Jan 13

New Year, New Beginnings

Posted on January 13, 2017 at 4:32 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 1/13/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

MN DOT Hwy 22 right of way plat and ditch alterations will be discussed at the next County Board of Commissioners' meeting held on January 24th.  The board meeting agenda will be published on the county's website next week.

CD98 (Mankato Twp.) This is a county ditch system south of Mankato off of Monks Ave.  We will be having a landowner meeting on February 7.  The meeting will be held in the third floor conference room of the Blue Earth County Historic Courthouse from 2-4pm.  Those landowners that will be affected will receive notice in the mail.  This will be an open discussion on repairs needed to the system.

Project updates:

  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  The water is still draining and we have seen significant reductions in the areas of ponding water and the open ditch.  The water has dropped over 4 feet since we opened things up to drain.
  • Within the next few weeks we will start to bid out a few projects for the 2017 season.  Some of these will be large scale projects.
cd28 pole
Notice the water line on this power pole.  This is a very good indicator of how much the water has dropped on CD28.

New Online Farmer-Only Discussion Forum:

Discovery Farms Programs of Minnesota and Wisconsin have rolled out a unique discussion forum called “The WaterWay Network.”  This is a password sensitive online forum specifically designed for farmers, crop consultants and other industry experts.

Discovery Farms and University experts will use their applied science knowledge to bring answer to the forum group.  The other farmers and crop consultants can ask and answer questions from a group with a vast geography and vast knowledge.

The WaterWay Network is an online community that focuses on conservation, nutrient management, soil health and other related topics.  For more information on this free online service click here


Farm Bill Assistance Partnership:

Minnesota’s Farm Bill Assistance Partnership helps private landowners with establishing wildlife and conservation habitat.  Local SWCD groups play a key role in this program as well.  Some of the programs that are supported by these groups include RIM and CRP.

With the new state buffer requirement deadlines right around the corner, there has been a growing demand for these programs and support.  Support is especially needed as large portions of CRP have been expiring out of the program.  Landowners are looking for ways to meet the new requirements of the buffer law and still try to enroll in government programs for some compensation. 

2016 saw a huge spike in demand for these programs and the staff needed to assist landowners.  CRP buffer enrollment assistance has more than doubled in a year's time.  Minnesota has seen more than 14,000 acres enrolled in these types of programs.  The closer these buffer deadlines get, the more the demand will grow.  There are multiple programs offered, so it’s not just a one size fits all type situation.  Contact your local SWCD for more info. on these and other programs for private landowners.

BWSR deadlines
BWSR key deadline dates for ditches and public waters.

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of January 9 – January 13:

CD92 (Medo Twp.) & JD02 (Jamestown Twp.)  I stopped by to inspect how the ditch cleaning turned out.  What a tremendous difference a light cleaning made on these systems.  This summer, when I inspected it, the culverts were submerged under water.  Now the water line is back to normal and all culverts are not under water and things are running great.
cd92 decemeber cleaning
CD92 after a late season cleaning.

 Upcoming Drainage Inspections: 

  • CD56 (Garden City Twp. & Lincoln Twp.)
  • JD38 (Sterling Twp.)
  • JD49 (Sterling Twp.)
  • CD78 (Vernon Center Twp.)
  • CD01 (McPherson Twp.)
  • CD93 (Decoria Twp.)

Please call with issues you observe, 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.

             Ryan Hiniker
Drainage Management Specialist