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Ag Best Management Practices Loan Program

Tractor pulling row seeder in field

The Roseau SWCD continues to take applications for the Agricultural Best Management Practice Loan Program, which offers Roseau County landowners low interest loans at a rate of 3%.


What can the loan be used towards?

  • Conservation tillage equipment

  • Ag waste management

  • Structural control

  • Sewage treatement system updates

  • A few other conservation items


What do I have to do to apply?

  • Fill out an application at the Roseau SWCD office.


Then what happens?

  • Application is reviewed by an SWCD representative

  • Project application goes through approval process by the SWCD Board of Supervisors

  • When funding becomes available, the application is forwarded to one of the local banks or Farm Credit Services, where the loan process begins


Loan terms for conservation equipment are 10 years.


Aquatic Invasive Species Program

The purpose of the Roseau County Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program is to identify, educate and control or eradicate aquatic invasive species through watercraft inspections, treatment measures and public education. Early detection is especially crucial for invasive weed species that are highly aggressive.  Ultimately, the hope is to prevent the introduction or limit the spread of aquatic invasive species at all access sites within the county.

The goals of the program are being accomplished by inspecting and mapping all locations within the county’s legal ditch systems, rivers, and streams within which aquatic invasive weed species are known to exist. This mapping will provide real time location information on a GIS layer, the control and management methods that are being used, and also to monitor effectiveness through follow-up inspections.

Roseau County partners with the Roseau Soil and Water Conservation District to coordinate planning schedules and manage logistics to allow the most efficient control methods. We will continue to be very proactive in the development of educational material for the public and the school systems on all aquatic invasive species.

Roseau SWCD also partners with Lake of the Woods SWCD to coordinate and implement the Watercraft Inspectors Program to inspect watercraft that are entering Lake of the Woods. Public awareness is one of the best methods for prevention and early detection of undesirable invasive species.

Buffer Law Program

In 2015 Governor Dayton signed in the Buffer Law (Minnesota Statute 103F.48) that requires Public Waters (streams, wetlands) and Public Ditches (county, watershed, some minor tributaries and creeks) to have permanent vegetated buffers to improve water quality in Minnesota. Runoff may affect both surface and ground waters. Landowners are ultimately responsible for buffer installation and any required maintenance thereafter. 

The November 1, 2017 compliance deadline to install a 50 ft vegetative strip along public waters and November 1, 2018 compliance deadline to install a 16.5 ft vegetative strip along public ditches has passed. For those landowners or operators who have been in contact with us by phone or by stopping into our office to update us on your buffer status, we express a big “Thank You”.


Buffers that were not planted in 2019 because of wet conditions must be planted in the spring of 2020.  Buffer Law has now moved into the enforcement stage. Compliance checks will start in the summer of 2020. Any parcels without the required buffer will be issued Correction Action Notice by the Roseau County Attorney and or Watershed District.  You will have 11 months to establish your buffer. If after the 11 months the buffer is still not established, you be fined up to $200 per parcel per month for the first six months. If you are still out of compliance after the six months period, you will then be fined $500 per parcel per month. 


Other information:

  • The buffer area may be planted to any perennial vegetation.

  • Weed maintenance is required.

  • Buffers may be grazed and or hayed. 

  • As ditches may still need to be cleaned out from time to time, the spoil will need to be seeded.

Buffer Exemptions: If land adjacent to Public Waters or Public Ditches is in CRP, that area of the parcel is exempt. The rest of the adjacent land that is not in CRP, but still within that same parcel, will fall under the Buffer Program requirements.

Monitoring Plan for Compliance Tracking: The Roseau SWCD will be reviewing 1/3 of the parcels adjacent to Public Waters and Public Ditches each year. Roseau County will be split into thirds from west to east and the order in which these parcels are checked will vary from year to year. Random spot check will also be done on parcels outside of the scheduled area each year. 




Important links to visit regarding the Buffer Program:

Map of Areas Requiring Buffer

Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Buffer Program webpage for landowners:

County Agriculture Inspection

Purple Loosestrife
Purple Loosestrife
Wild Parsnip
Wild Parship
Common Tansy
Common Tansy

Our Role

  • Identify common and invasive weeds

  • Eradicate / control invasive weeds

  • Conduct field checks

  • Check sites identified by called in complaints

  • Seed inspection


The Roseau County Soil and Water Conservation District is the Weed Inspector for the County and administers the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law, seed testing and inspection, and commercial applicator testing for Roseau County.


 On Minnesota Noxious Weed Law— 
     Anyone receiving farm program payments, as well as anyone enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) are required to control all noxious weeds and other problem weeds on their acreages under contract.  Townships may require that roadsides be mowed along property adjacent to landowner’s property.
     Under the standard operating procedures of the Minnesota’s noxious weed law, an individual is considered to be in violation if no action is taken towards controlling or eradicating noxious weeds from producing viable seeds and spreading.
     If a land inspection finds that noxious weeds were allowed to go to seed, the landowner will be considered in violation of the state noxious weed law, and may be assessed a payment reduction of $30.00/acre.
     If a weed problem exists on a landowner's field and clipping is needed to control the infestation during the primary nesting season (June 1 – August 1), all it takes is a phone call to the FSA office (218.463.2452) or the County Ag Inspector’s office (218.463.1903) to authorize the action.
     Any complaints received regarding weed infestations for all lands in Roseau County will be taken care of with the utmost confidentiality to the caller.


Our educational outreach includes Envirothon, Newsletter, and Long Lake Conservation Camp.

Long Lake
Conservation Center

We provide registration fees for one week of summer camp for two students each year. This classic summer camp experience is full of fun at the lake and exploration in the woods! Campers spend time in the outdoors learning recreation skills such as canoeing, archery, orienteering, GPS and camping. In addition, campers spend time honing their survival skills by building small cooking fires and shelters, and spending a night under the stars.

Requirements are: 1) students need to be Roseau County residents and 2) ages 10-15.


Students from Roseau County in the past have really enjoyed this camp. The camp is located at 28952  438th Lane, Palisade, MN 56469.  Check out their website at


Four girls standing by a wildlife table

Local Water Management

Our Role

  • Administer Local Water Management Plan

  • 90% cost-share for well decommissioning up to $900

  • Well water clinics and analysis

  • Project Work Team participation

  • Steering Team and Implementation Committee participation

  • Rainfall monitoring network support

  • Education

  • Program and financial reports

  • Other items may be found in the Comprehensive Local Water Management Plan


Priority Concerns
1.  Erosion & sedimentation of surface waters, stormwater runoff and wetlands.
2.  Flood control & flood damage reduction.
3.  Surface water protection and improvement
4.  Managing existing ditch systems
5.  Groundwater protection and quality


MN Ag Water Quality Certification Program

MN Ag Water Qualty Certification Program

Rainfall Monitoring Network

  • Currently, 32 individuals and agencies monitor rainfall April through October

  • If your township is not represented within Roseau County and you would like to become a monitor, please contact us and and we will provide a rain gauge and recording sheets.  Your responsibility would be to mail the data to the Roseau SWCD at month's end or send your results by email

  • Data is entered into the Climatology database and all reports are mailed to the Climatology Office in St. Paul, MN

State Cost-Share

Grade stabilization structure by river

Our Role

  • Administration of program rules

  • Checking eligibility requirements

  • Plan development and technical assistance

  • Field checking and reviewing

  • Program and financial reporting


Main practices for Roseau County

  • field windbreaks

  • grade stabilization structures such as side water inlets / outlets

  • streambank stabilization (for environmental protection/stabilization, not for aesthetics)

State Cost-Share is available to Roseau County landowners who are looking to plant field windbreaks. Special projects such as critical area stabilization are also covered under this program. A stabilization project is for those areas that are in critical need, not for beautification. 

Cost-share is available at 50% for eligible practices. Contracts have a 10 year life span and practices must be maintained. For additional information regarding state cost-share practices and requirements, please contact our office.


Tree Program

Our Role

  • Conservation grade trees are sold only during the spring season.

  • We can take tree orders starting in the fall for the next upcoming season. 

  • We provide technical expertise in designing tree sites and education of proper tree planting and maintenance.


Click on Trees Tab on navigator for more information

Wetlands Conservation Act

Our Role

  • Administer WCA rules

  • Wetland delineation or determinations

  • Site and field reviews

  • Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP) reviews

  • Wetland restorations

  • Program and financial reports


For any landowner, who is looking at doing any activities that may involve removing trees or moving dirt such as in building roads, field drainage, or land clearing and is not in the USDA Farm Programs, it would be very important to check out the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) at the Roseau SWCD office. For those who are in Farm Programs, please contact the Roseau Natural Resources Conservation Service at 218.463.1862 Ext 3 or the Farms Service Agency at  218-463-2452 Ext 2.

The Wetland Conservation Act was first passed in 1991 and since that time, we have had several changes and amendments to the rules. The basic requirement of the Wetland Conservation Act is that an area of wetland characteristics cannot be drained or filled unless the proposed area is first looked at and reviewed to determine if the area may fit under an exemption listed in the WCA rules. Other possibilities, depending on wetland types and if avoidance or minimization can be met, may be to replace by restoring wetlands, by creating or buying wetland credits from a wetland bank. 

Roseau County is a <50% pre-existing wetland county; therefore, wetland replacement is 2:1 replacement value or greater. In a wetland violation, the replacement value is 4:1. Anyone having questions or needing information on the Wetland Conservation Act may stop by our office or contact us by phone 218.463.1903.

Ag BMP Loan
Buffer Law
County Ag Inspection
Local Water Management
Rainfall Network
State Cost-Share
Wetlands Conservation Act
MN Ag Water Quality Certifcation
Aquatic Invasive Species
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