$20K approved for cover crop incentive program

Cover crops such as alfalfa can help with drainage and compaction problems.

Ag producers in Wilkin County, Minnesota, will have the opportunity to improve their soil quality as part of a cover crop program approved this week.

On Tuesday, July 16 the Wilkin County Commissioners heard a request from the Wilkin County Soil and Water District’s Don Bajumpaa, Kim Melton and Brock Pearson to fund a cover crop program to improve soil health in Wilkin County. They presented examples of poor quality and good quality soil and described how planting different cover crops could improve the health. Problem areas adjacent to rivers, streams and ditches.

The commissioners passed a motion to approve $20,000 in funding for a Wilkin County Cover Crop Incentive Program. The amount will be paid with Riparian Aid Protection funds.

“We know that we can help turn soil around in less than 10 years,” Bajumpaa said regarding benefits of a cover crop program. “We can make significant improvement to the overall quality of soil health in two to three years, sometimes four years.”

In other news, Deb Jacobs, public health director for Wilkin County, gave her monthly department update.

The board also heard a quarterly report from Wilkin County Recorder Renae Niemi. She spoke about the project of locating township corners, which is in progress throughout the county.

Niemi explained that she and her staff may spend as much as half a day doing reports, some of which go back as far as the 1800s. The board also voted to raise the fee for track searches which go back 40 years or more to $220 per her request.

Dave Sayler gave his monthly report to the commissioners and asked to add a part time employee to his staff.

The board voted to begin searching for a part-time eligibility financial advisor to work 24 hours per week.

There was also discussion of the new CaseWorks program which would allow the department to begin putting their documents in digital form. Mike Sexe of CaseWorks gave the board a presentation on the product and answered questions from commissioners.

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