Saturated Buffers

A saturated buffer resembles a traditional buffer or filter strip, but it is designed to capture and treat water from underground tile drains. As water seeps slowly through the buffer, high organic matter in the soil promotes denitrification.

ISAP’s Edge-of-Field Incentive Directory

ISAP’s Edge-of-Field Incentives Directory provides an overview of edge-of-field (EoF) incentive payment opportunities for farmers in Illinois. EoF practices are defined as those practices which intercept, capture, and treat subsurface drainage (conservation drainage practices) or surface runoff at the field level. The conservation drainage practices include bioreactors, constructed wetlands for tile-drainage treatment, drainage water management, drainage water recycling, and saturated buffers. Surface runoff practices include vegetated riparian buffers, filter strips, prairie strips, and restored wetlands. The directory also includes a “Stacking Matrix” so farmers can easily determine if they may be eligible to stack payments from multiple programs.

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Michigan State University Drainage Resources

This Michigan State University Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering website provides education and practical solutions to address drainage issues.

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NRCS Saturated Buffer Practice Overview

This one page factsheet from NRCS provides an overview of saturated buffers, how they fuction, and common associated practices.

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ADMC Saturated Buffer Fact Sheet

This ADMC webpage provides information on saturated buffers including considerations for installation and financial impacts.

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SWCS Saturated Buffers

This video, in the SWCS Conservation Media Library, shows how saturated buffers serve as a nutrient removal option for farmers.

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Illinois NREC Saturated Buffer Video

Jon Schoonover with Southern Illinois University has designed a unique Saturated Buffer configuration that he has installed and tested in Moultrie County Illinois. The project is funded by NREC in partnership with Illinois Farm Bureau, Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) and others.

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