Minnesota’s corn farmers are always working to improve the way they grow food, feed, fiber and fuel for an increasing world population while protecting water quality and soil fertility. They also strive to find new uses for corn and expand the use of homegrown and renewable ethanol fuels.
That’s why Minnesota’s corn farmers are committed to supporting science-based research projects and initiatives. A new publication from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC) summarizes the commitment made by Minnesota corn farmers to support independent research efforts.
The 2014 Minnesota Corn Research Directory highlights over 150 research projects and initiatives funded by Minnesota corn farmers. Through Minnesota’s corn check-off, a voluntary one-cent fee paid by farmers for every bushel of corn sold, corn farmers are funding about $4 million annually in new and ongoing research.
Corn-farmer funded research efforts focus on six key areas: water quality, corn utilization, livestock, soil fertility, agronomy and fuels and emissions. Research is conducted by independent institutions such as the University of Minnesota.
For example, a new 2014 project is examining how climate change in Minnesota affects the sustainability of corn production. The goal of the study is to help farmers better understand how to adapt to climate change and guide future research efforts.
Another project seeks to expand the use of furfural – an organic compound derived from corn cobs – in consumer products made from plastic. World production for furfural is about 200,000 tons annually.
There is also a project that seeks to fine-tune current fertilizer nitrogen rate guidelines based on the mineralization potential of different soil types. By the study’s completion, farmers will have a better understanding of the benefits of in-season nitrogen application compared to traditional practices.
The complete 2014 Minnesota Corn Research Directory can be viewed by visiting mncorn.org and clicking on the “Research” tab.