The Jefferson County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) has funding available
to landowners and farmers for a variety of projects. The projects must prevent erosion,
enhance soil health or protect the water quality of our lakes and streams. LWCD staff are
available to assist interested citizens who may have soil erosion or water quality concerns on
Every year, the LWCD receives funding from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture for a
variety of conservation practices. Some of the projects that can be funded include closure of
unused wells, barnyard runoff control systems, grassed waterways, closure of unused manure
storage, nutrient management plans, and shoreline erosion control. Many other projects can
also be cost-shared. The cost-share rates vary depending on the practice with most practices
cost-shared at 70%, some at 50% and some are a flat rate.
The LWCD has a program to fund both pasture establishment and cover crops. These two
practices provide cover to the land and ultimately do a great job at reducing phosphorus
delivery to our waterways. The pasture cost-sharing is a flat rate of $125 per acre of crop
ground converted to pasture with a 40 acre maximum which can be split over multiple years.
A few options are available to producers who are planning to plant cover crops this year. The
first option is available from the Jefferson County Soil Builders with funds administered by the
LWCD. Producers can receive $30 per acre on a maximum of 25 acres if they plant multi-
species cover crops after wheat harvest. The second option is a flat rate of $25 per acre for up
to 100 acres and $15 per acre on an additional 50 acres of crop ground planted to one or more
species of cover crops. The additional 50 acres is possible due to funds from the Jefferson
County Soil Builders. There is also an opportunity for participants to obtain advice from an
experienced cover crop mentor.
Funds are limited, so those interested should contact the Land and Water Conservation
Department soon. Contracts must be signed prior to the installation of practices. Funding for
multi-species cover crops planted after wheat are first come, first served. Those interested in
implementing other practices should contact the LWCD by the end of July as the applications
will be ranked for funding in early August.
The LWCD also applies for funding on behalf of landowners for the Department of Natural
Resources’ Healthy Lakes and Rivers program. The practices available are simple and inexpensive projects that work to improve habitat and water quality on properties that are within 1,000 feet of lakes and 300 feet of rivers/streams. They include native plant gardens adjacent to water, rain gardens, diversions to direct water runoff from being discharged to waterways, rock trenches to infiltrate water from impervious surfaces, and upland trees placed in lakes to provide fish and wildlife habitat. Cost-sharing for these projects are 75% of the total cost up to a maximum of $1,000. Those interested in projects for next year should contact the LWCD by the end of August.
For more information on implementing conservation practices or obtaining assistance regarding
your erosion or water quality concerns, please contact the Land and Water Conservation