thumb Vol16 Is1 2021 SummerFallKent Solberg from the Sustainable Farming Association demonstrates the rainfall simulatorLake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) co-hosted a livestock producer’s workshop at a farm north of Williams, MN. Over 40 people came out to listen to presenters who highlighted rotational grazing, forage productivity, drought disaster assistance and available conservation programs. Staff were on hand from the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, MN Ag Water Quality Certification Program, Sustainable Farming Association and UMN Extension Service.

As part of the workshop, Kent Solberg from the Sustainable Farming Association demonstrated a rainfall simulator. The rainfall simulator demonstrates rain runoff and infiltration from different land management strategies.

The SWCD gathered soil samples from heavily grazed pastures, rotationally grazed pastures, hay fields and annually cropped fields with little residue management. The difference in the amount of rain infiltration and also the amount of sediment running off the “fields” really demonstrated the impacts of how the land is managed. The simulator clearly showed how plant root systems and low compaction helped water infiltrate instead of running off and carrying topsoil away with it. It's a great video if you are interested in watching - check it out on youtube at

The SWCD plans to host more workshops in the future. Stay connected with them at Home - Lake of the Woods SWCD