Wisconsin Soil and Water Report Released

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) Bureau of Land and Water Resource Management has released the 2022 Wisconsin Report on Soil and Water Conservation. The report shows efforts to protect Wisconsin’s soil and water resources.

According to DATCP’s analysis, state, federal, local, and other funds were used in 2022 to advance and support conservation efforts. These efforts include planting cover crops, managed grazing, groundwater monitoring, farmland preservation, and farmer-led initiatives. Local conservation staff visited sites to assess needs, determine compliance with state standards and farmland preservation eligibility. This work was done with farmers and landowners to design and administer site-specific conservation practices. One popular practice is to implement a nutrient management plan. Counties have reported more than 7,500 nutrient management plans covering over 3.45 million acres were created in 2022. These plans ensure that nutrients go into farmers’ crops instead of local soil and water sources.

“Our state’s soil and water are two of our most vital resources, allowing producers to put food on our tables and adding an incalculable value to our quality of life,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “I applaud the hard work being done throughout Wisconsin to protect, preserve, and enhance our soil and water resources so that we may continue to utilize them for generations to come.”

In 2022, county land and water staff worked with other conservation partners and landowners. They shared information, provide support, and reach goals.

Outcome Examples Include:

  • Pierce County: Celebrated the completion of their 1,000th dam, which offers protection from erosion and flooding by slowing water coming off slopes, allowing it time to filter back into the ground.
  • Dunn County: Strong partnerships resulted in a long-term solution to control severe runoff and erosion. This reduced the amount of sediment and nutrients entering Elk Creek Lake.
  • Washburn County: Pasture walks on a bison farm introduced people to the benefits of alternative forages. This led to a discussion of soil health metrics for pasture land.