Tillage and Erosion Survey Project

BWSR was allocated funding from the Clean Water Fund (M.L. 2016, chapter 172, article 2, section 11) for a program to systematically collect data and produce county, watershed, and statewide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.

The purpose of this project is to:

  • Develop a long-term program to systematically collect tillage (crop residue after planting) data and soil erosion estimates to analyze trends in agricultural soil and water management,
  • Track tillage trends, cover crop adoption, and land cover in the 67 county area with greater than 30% of land dedicated to row crop production, and
  • Quantify and track trends in average annual and daily soil loss due to wind and water erosion.

Project Update, January 2018 (pdf)


Southeast Minnesota Soil Health and Cover Crop Initiatives (LCCMR)

BWSR was allocated funds from the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) through Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources (ML 2015, chapter 76, section 2, sub 4e) to promote cover crops as a means of protecting soil and water quality in southeastern Minnesota through training and education for local practitioners, economic analysis of implementation, and on-farm demonstration sites. This effort was coordinated with the University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative. The project was completed in June, 2018.

Economic Analysis of Cover Crops on Farms Participating in the Soil Health and Cover Crop Initiative (pdf)


Daily Erosion Project

The DEP is a web based application that utilizes the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) soil erosion model along with radar‐derived precipitation data and government‐provided slope, soil, and management information to produce daily estimates of soil erosion and runoff at a small watershed scale (approximately 36 square miles). The application predicts erosion from rill and inter-rill erosion processes on agricultural land, but does not predict erosion from gully or channel forming processes. This application was first developed and deployed in Iowa in 2003 and now the data is being developed for the State of Minnesota.

Daily Erosion Project Maps and Updates, Iowa State University