1000 10th Avenue - Suite 3
Clarkfield MN  56223
Phone:  320-669-4442 Ext 3  FAX: 320-669-7525
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OFFICE HOURS:  8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

OFFICE LOCATION:  Ag Service Center in Clarkfield, Minnesota
The Yellow Medicine Soil & Water Conservation District was duly organized as a governmental subdivision of this State, and a public body corporate and politic on the 17th day of April, 1950.  The SWCD works with landowners in both rural and urban settings to carry out a program for the conservation, use and development of soil, water and related resources.  The SWCD is governed by locally elected officials and staffed by professionals dedicated to serving you – the public.
To provide technical, financial, and educational support to the public for the purpose of conserving and protecting soil, water, and other natural resources.
Board meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at the SWCD office located in the Ag Service Center in Clarkfield, MN.  Meetings are open to the public.  Starting times vary depending on the time of the year.    Please check the agenda tab to see time of next scheduled meeting.
Agenda                  Minutes

SERVICES PROVIDED (See Programs and Services Button Above)



The Yellow Medicine SWCD held buffer law informational meetings at the end of August.  In case you missed the meetings, below are some of the questions and answers that were presented.

Where do I have to put buffers?


On July 12th, the MNDNR released official maps for the buffer law.  Please come into the Yellow Medicine Soil & Water Conservation District Office in Clarkfield to check out the county map or look at a map of the whole state by visiting the following website:


How wide do buffers have to be?


Public waters and a few private ditches and waterways that are on MNDNR's public water inventory will require a minimum of 30' and an average of 50'.


All public drainage ditches will need a minimum of 16.5’ (one rod) of vegetation.



When do I have to have a buffer installed?


On November 1, 2017 public waters that require a 30 foot minimum and a 50 foot average per parcel will need to be buffered.


On November 1, 2018 public drainage ditches that only require 16.5 feet will need to be buffered.


What do I have to plant on the buffer?


The statute says “a perennially vegetated root” must be on the buffer area. Alfalfa is allowed specifically in the law. No invasive species (thistles, etc.) may be present on the buffer. Existing grass, shrub, or forest cover is acceptable.


Are there programs to help put in buffers?


The gold standard, both in quality and financially, of installing buffers along streams is the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP). The CP-21 Filter Strip practice has been installed on hundreds of acres in our county over the years. There may also be other cost share programs available.


Can I cut hay and bale the buffer?


If your buffer is seeded out of pocket and doesn’t have any other program restrictions you can harvest the buffer for hay at any time; as long as the perennial roots remain intact.

If you want to know if you have waters that need buffering, please call Tyler Knutson at the Yellow Medicine SWCD office at 320-669-4442 x3 or stop by our office and he will help you.






Water Quality Certification expands to farms across Minnesota

  Yellow Medicine SWCD now accepting applicants


Clarkfield, Minn. – Farmers across Minnesota are now taking advantage of a state program that celebrates and ensures protection of the state’s water resources. With the help of a five-year, $9 million award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and legislation enacted earlier this year, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is formally transitioning from four pilot areas to being available to any agricultural producer statewide.


Minnesota’s Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program was designed by an advisory committee of independent stakeholders and implemented by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) in partnership with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and local public, private and non-profit partners. The program is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect our water. Farmers and landowners who implement and maintain approved farm management practices are certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of 10 years.


The MAWQCP certifies farmers and landowners for managing their land in a way that protects water quality through a whole-farm assessment that evaluates:  physical field characteristics,  nutrient management factors, tillage management factors, pest management factors, irrigation and tile drainage management, and  conservation practices.  Producers interested in becoming certified also receive priority status for technical and financial assistance.


The MAWQCP puts producers together with local professionals and the new on-line field assessment tool to determine where risks to water quality exist on their farm, and empowers them to fix those risks when they’re found, at the same avoiding the expense, time and trouble of applying half-measures or implementing misplaced actions.


Anyone interested in learning more about MAWQCP, the assessment process, or becoming certified should contact Tyler Knutson at the Yellow Medicine SWCD at 320-669-4442 x3 or