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Funding for Nitrate Management Practice

Improve nitrate loss by installing a saturated buffer

Applications are now being accepted

Saturated buffers are an edge-of-field conservation practice that removes nitrate from subsurface tile drainage before it enters ditches, creeks, streams, and rivers. Eligible projects may be compensated for crop production at or above adjacent crop rotation values.

Saturated buffers use a control structure to divert a portion of the tile flow into a distribution tile that runs parallel to the stream (B below) and can remove up to 90% of the nitrate load of drainage water before it reaches surface water. This simple and low-cost practice could improve water quality through nutrient load reductions. Sites require a tile line that drains a large area and the willingness to install a minimum 35' width buffer of perennial vegetation. Mowing and haying may be done; however, activities such as grazing and equipment traffic over the buffer should be minimized during wet soil conditions.

If you’re interested, fill out our Request for Assistance Form or

contact Ryan Boylan at (509) 553-1847 or

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