Planting grass and legumes to reduce soil erosion and improve production.
How it works
Drill or broadcast adapted grass or legumes into a low-producing pasture or a steep, eroding cropland field.
How it helps
Heavy grass cover slows water flow, reducing soil erosion.
Good pastures protect water quality by filtering runoff water and increasing infiltration.
Lush pastures give cover and habitat for wildlife.
As plants recycle and roots die, organic matter in the soil is improved.
Are selected species suited to your soi ... more.
... and research ideas by clicking here.
CTIC is a member of the DCB team, helping with communications and outreach efforts. Click here to visit diversecornbelt.org and learn more about the project.
CTIC Speaking at Sustainable Ag Conference
The role of remote sensing in monitoring the health of grazing lands—providing insight into pasture and rangeland condition and offering supply shed scale reporting on climate-smart practices—will be presented at the Sustainable Agriculture Summit on November 17.
CTIC project director Dave Gustafson will moderate "Leveraging Satellite Data to Drive and Inform Climate-Smart Livestock and Dairy Agriculture at Scale." Greg Thoma of Colorado State University, Matthew Jones and Jo ... more.
... Research at Heidelberg University is using the Nutrient Tracking Tool, or NTT, to model the effects of conservation practices on dissolved reactive phosphorus on each field enrolled in PLUS-UP. Developed by the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research at Tarleton State University, NTT is a powerful tool for estimating the nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment losses from cropland and pasture.
NTT is available online and draws on a comprehensive soil database, making it extremely accurate on a field scale. The model includes a wide range of crops, rotations, nutrient and management options that allow users to calculate economic and environmental outcomes based on real-world data. The versatility and accuracy of NTT make it an ideal tool for quantifying the effects and cal ... more.
... the handout Fine-Tuning Nitrogen Rates for Strip-Tilled Corn
Download the handout Reduce Wind Erosion for Long Term Productivity
Download the handout Considerations for Corn Residue Harvest in Minnesota
Stop #4 - Phil and Nate Marring Farm, Kenyon, Minn.
See how the Marings rotate livestock on their farm
Rotational grazing and pasture managements programs to farm productively while protecting a unique landscape
Marings' efforts to tailor their operation on a challenging landscape, including the rebuild of a 45-year old spring-fed pond to establish a watering system
Stop #5 - Burfeind Dairy, Goodhue, Minn.
Benefits of a new, state-of-the-art facility and the family's commitment to conservation and animal he ... more.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
Grazing and Rangeland
Know Your Watershed
Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI)
National Aquatic Resource Survey (NARS)
National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)
Operational Tillage Assessment System (OpTIS)
Watershed Groups Watershed Implementation and Innovation Network (WIIN)
Planting forage and using grazing rotations to maximize production and
reduce sediment and nutrient runoff. Consider food, water and herd size.
How it works
Pasture is divided into two or more pastures or paddocks with fencing.
Cattle are moved from paddock to paddock on a pre-arranged schedule based on forage availability and livestock nutrition needs.
How it helps
Improves vegetative cover, reducing erosion and improving water quality.
Increases harvest efficiency and helps ensure adequate forage throughout the grazing season.
Increases fora ... more.
... friendly Visual Basic (VB) interface to create a customized spreadsheet-based model in Microsoft (MS) Excel. It computes watershed surface runoff, nutrient loads, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and 5-day biological oxygen demand (BOD 5), and sediment delivery based on various land uses and management practices. The pollutant sources include major nonpoint sources such as cropland, pastureland, farm animals, feedlots, urban runoff, and failing septic systems.
Click here to register.
To download a brochure with agenda and "mail in" registration form click here.
The Place Casino is the closest hotel. Workshop participants are encouraged to stay there. For more information visit their website: http: ... more.
... and increasing infiltration rates.
Healthy, well-managed woodlands provide long-term wildlife habitat.
Is the soil suitable for producing wood crops?
Is the soil suitable for the tree species you have selected?
Is there a market for the species you want to plant?
Do you need this land for crops or livestock?
Remove brush and till the strips of pasture or sod where trees will be planted the fall before planting.
Complete spring planting by May 15. Fall planting should begin between September 1-15. *
Standard forest planting spacings are 6'x6', at a rate of 1,210 trees per acre; 6'x7', 1,037 trees per acre; 6'x8', 908 trees per acre.
Tree seedlings should be planted within seven days of their arrival.
Keep roots m ... more.
... and that after a certain number of years – scientists believe it is 15 to 20 years – a field reaches a plateau.
To make it even more complex, the soil's capacity to store carbon depends on soil type, tillage system, the use of cover crops, cropping history and how much carbon it lost in the first place. Research from highly degraded soils in South America put into improved pasture showed dramatic jumps in carbon levels after five years – much higher storage than Midwestern soils in the U.S. Deep-rooted pasture plants also have the capacity to place carbon deeper into poor South American soils than annual crops do in cooler climates with richer ground. However, Corn Belt farms have the capacity to capture and store significant amounts of carbon, too.
“The ... more.
... applicator’s schedule? What agreements have been worked out with neighbors for manure use on their fields? Is a neighbor hosting a special event over the weekend? All these factors and more will likely figure into the recommended timing.
9. Recommended methods. Surface or injected? While injection is clearly preferred, there may be situations where injection is not feasible (i.e. pasture, grassland). Slope, rainfall patterns, soil type, crop rotation and many other factors affect which method is best for optimizing nutrient efficiency (availability and loss) in your fields. The combination that’s right for you in one field may differ in another field…even with the same crop.
10. Annual review and update. Did you actually do what you planned to do? Even the best ... more.
... rights from local rivers or groundwater, leaving limited options for many rural communities.
Water Resources Ideal
The “ideal” for regional water resource management would be cleaner water bodies, stable stream channels (e.g., fencing and control access to grazing, re-establishment of riparian vegetation, buffers along streams), improved infiltration in fields and pastures, better mechanisms to meet diverse demands (e.g., conservation at all levels, market systems, and improved water law), pro-active planning and response to drought, dependable and equitable water supply for households, and enforcement or new laws to prevent contamination.
Water Resources Change
Fostering a stewardship ethic through innovation, education and outreach to farmers, con ... more.