ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County officials are reminding farmers to contact the county before ditching or tiling this fall.

Drainage projects can oftentimes impact a wetland that could carry with it a fine and restoration costs.

Farmers can protect themselves against impacting a wetland by contacting the Farm Service Agency and Stearns County Environmental Services beforehand.

Certain projects are exempt from the wetland replacement requirements of the Wetland Preservation Act, but you'll have to contact the county's environmental services department to learn which rules apply.