Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Conservation Initiatives

The Department implements a number of conservation programs and projects. These may involve implementation of local, state, or federal programs or be county-specific projects.

dairy cow in a stall in a barn

Community Manure Management

When manure breaks down it produces methane, a greenhouse gas, which can be collected, cleaned, and converted into energy for residential or business use. We currently have two manure digesters operating in Dane County that capture methane gas.

man in a field measuring the amount of tillage

Crop & Tillage Survey

The Crop & Tillage Transect Survey is a county-scale crop and tillage survey conducted by staff each spring. The survey provides information about trends over time including: tillage practices, crop rotations, cover crops, and landuse.

green fields with different crops in strips

Dane County Land & Water Resource Management Plan

The Dane County Land and Water Resource Management Plan is a state-mandated long-range planning document intended to guide the activities of the department in its efforts to protect and improve the natural resources in Dane County.

group of people talking in a field in front of farm with silos in background

Dane Demo Farms

A network of farmers that demonstrate and research leading edge conservation practices that improve water quality and soil health throughout Dane County. Their efforts help reduce nutrients and sediment from entering our waters and build healthy soil.

distant view of farm field and barn

Farmland Preservation Program

A state tax program where eligible landowners can claim a credit on their taxes for maintaining and preserving farmland. Staff can help landowners determine compliance with the state’s agricultural performance standards and prohibitions, one of the eligibility requirements. 

a group of people talking in a field

Producer-led Groups

Dane County provides support by request to producer-led watershed groups located within the county. Support may include: education and outreach activities, planning and technical services, and partnering as the collaborator, partner, or fiscal agent.