Current Projects and Events
Irrigation Scheduler Program Grows in 2014
The Todd, Wadena and Hubbard Irrigation Scheduler Program had another successful year! In its second year, the program doubled from 20 fields in 2013 to 40 fields in 2014. With state and general public pushing for better water management, farmers are seeing benefits from this program not just for its second opinion on when to water but for its water usage records. At the end of the year, the Irrigation Scheduler Program sends out a report to each farmer showing how many inches of water was put on the field by irrigation that year, and shows how much of that water was lost due to over irrigating. These records are a great way to show the state and general public that your farm is participating in water management.
For those that have never heard of the Irrigation Scheduler Program, it is based off the same, very successful program offered by the East Otter Tail SWCD. Through the process of irrigation water scheduling, Wade Salo, Irrigation Technician, is able to help producers determine how much water is needed to keep their crop healthy throughout the growing season by calculating the evapotranspiration (ET) rates for each of the major crops grown in the area.
With ET estimates, updates from producers on weekly rainfall and irrigation amounts, and a weekly site visit to the field to check soil moisture, the technician is able to provide a chart to the producer showing where soil moisture levels are at and how much time before they should irrigate again. When used properly this program can save farmers money by preventing crop loss due to insufficient moisture, prevent leaching of fertilizer, and reduces energy and running cost by preventing over watering of crops.
Accurate ET information is very important to make the scheduler program successful. To help improve the accuracy, Todd, Wadena and Hubbard SWCD, along with East Otter Tail SWCD and MN Dept of Agriculture installed four new weather stations. Funding for this project was made possible through the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment. These weather stations are located near Clarissa, Staples, Hubbard and Pine Point near high production, irrigated crop land. To view weather station information, go to the Wadena SWCD's website and click on the Irrigation tab. In the upper left hand corner you will find the list of weather stations. When the viewer clicks on a weather station, they will be able to access information like high and low temperatures, growing degree days, and ET information for all the major crops growing in this region.
If you would like more information about this program or the weather stations, please contact Wade Salo at 218-631-3195 X-109 or Julie Kingsley at 218-732-0121.
Community Partners Grant
Do you belong to a lake association and want to see some changes made to the lake’s shorelines? Is your community or nonprofit organization interested in planting a rain garden? Hubbard SWCD received $100,000 in Legacy funding that is now available to groups like yours. For more information, please go to our programs page.
Tullibee Lakes Forest Stewardship Program
Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) received $37,000 of the Clean Water Legacy Funds to protect and enhance water quality of deep cold water lakes. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) partnered with Hubbard County SWCD to provide funding to private landowners to actively manage forestland and maintain forested land cover within tullibee lakes watersheds (an area that drains into a specific lake).
Tullibee lakes have been identified as a high value resource that needs to be protected. Tullibee (aka Cisco) is a prey species of choice for lake trout, pike, muskie and walleye and they require cold and clean water to survive.
Landowners who own forested 20 acre parcels or larger and live within 9th Crow Wing, 11th Crow Wing, Howard, Kabekona, Big Sand, LaSalle, Spearhead and Ten Mile lake watersheds are eligible for grant funds. The funds provide a low cost Forest Stewardship Plan to qualified landowners.
This program is intended to help private landowners make decisions that sustainably manage their forests in a way that will ensure quality fishing habitat for many years to come.
For more information about this program you can visit the DNR's website or call the SWCD at 732-0121 to sign up for a plan.
There are several new projects that we are working on in conjunction with the MPCA. The MPCA has adopted a Watershed Approach. Hubbard County SWCD is comprised of three different watersheds, Crow Wing, Leech Lake River, and Mississippi River (Headwaters).
The Crow Wing Watershed is now completed. As a result of the intensive monitoring, MPCA determined there are three lakes and one river in Hubbard County that did not meet the standards. They are 1st Crow Wing Lake, 8th Crow Wing Lake, Portage Lake and Straight River. For more information visit the MPCA's website.
The Leech Lake River Watershed is in the fourth year. In this phase, we are working priority management zones and developing the Watershed Restoration and Protection Report. We are also working on watershed citizen awareness.
The Civic Engagement team wrote a series of articles to increase awareness on the importance of a healthy watershed. Click on each article to read about our watershed.
#1 - Healthy Waters - WRAPing Around the Watershed
#2 - Linkages between Forests and Water
#3 - Healthy Waters for Fish, Wildlife and Plants
#4 - Healthy Connections Between Surface Water and Ground Waters
#5 - Effects of Climate Change on Healthy Waters
#6 - Healthy Waters for Sustainable Communities
#7 - Healthy Waters for Sustainable Communities Part Two
The Mississippi River Headwaters Watershed is in Phase 2. We have finished collecting all of the water quality data and will be analyzing this data. We are also working on watershed citizen awareness.
Aquatic Invasive Species Watercraft Inspectors
Hubbard County adopted an Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force to do everything possible to eliminate all opportunities and pathways for the spread of AIS to Hubbard County lakes. Julie Kingsley (District Manager) is one of the task force members. If you have any questions about AIS or how you could help, please contact Julie.
With Aquatic Invasive Species infestations surrounding our beautiful county, the lake associations wanted to take a proactive approach to the issue. In 2012, Hubbard County SWCD along with area lake associations, teamed up to provide AIS Watercraft Inspectors on area public accesses. We inspected over 7,100 watercraft in 2012. We inspected watercraft that came from 22 different Minnesota zebra mussel infested bodies of water and watercraft from 21 states with zebra mussel infestations.
In 2013, we had DNR trained watercraft inspectors on 21 lakes from May 10, 2013 - October 13, 2013. We have two documents that summarize the data that was collected. The Countywide summary shows the total results of the data that was collected from the 21 lakes inspected. The lakes report summarizes each individual lake's results. Click this link to view the Countywide Summary or the Lakes Report.
In addition to having watercraft inspectors looking for AIS on watercraft, we purchased a decontamination unit to further protect Hubbard County lakes from aquatic invasive species. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has found that leaving a watercraft in infested waters overnight can allow invasive species to attach. Aquatic invasive species spread via watercraft and equipment so having the ability to decontaminate is critical to protecting Hubbard County's waters.
Click this link to view the Minnesota State Management Plan for Invasive Species.