Corn-based plastics have a future in refrigeration

Global appliance provider Electolux recently unveiled a refrigerator prototype that replaces conventional plastics with bioplastic in all of its visible parts. The company is the latest to replace oil-based plastics with plastic made from renewable sources like corn.

The emergence of bioplastics has become an encouraging trend for the nation’s corn farmers. Companies like Electrolux have explored incorporating bioplastics into their products for their environmental benefit. The refrigerator prototype has 80-percent lower CO2 equivalent emissions compared to the conventional plastic used in current fridges.

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“MN Corn Grows MN” shares impact of corn, corn farming

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) launched the “MN Corn Grows MN” campaign last summer to build connections with candidates for elected office and to encourage more dialogue about the impact of corn farming with all Minnesotans. Since, MCGA has brought eight gubernatorial candidates to family corn farms and met with numerous state legislators to discuss the issues important to the state’s 24,000 corn farmers.

Over the coming months,

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MN State Capitol

Legislative Update: Lawmakers take action on key bills before break

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior public policy director

The Minnesota Legislature starts a 10-day Easter/Passover break today and will be back in session on Monday, April 9. The last couple of weeks have been busy in St. Paul as lawmakers worked to meet policy committee deadlines before heading back to their districts for the break. Here is a quick recap of where things stand on Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) legislative priorities and other policies important to agriculture.

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USDA: Minnesota farmers decrease corn acreage in 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Prospective Plantings Report forecasts a 7-percent decrease in Minnesota corn acres planted in 2018. Nationally, corn acres are expected to decrease 2 percent. Of the 48 estimating states, 33 are forecasted to decrease or maintain corn acreage this spring.

In comparison, soybean acres are forecasted to decrease 2 percent this year in Minnesota. Nationally, a 1-percent drop in planted acres is expected. Wheat acres planted are expected to increase 38 percent in Minnesota and 3 percent nationally.

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New technology identifies nitrogen deficient crops from the sky

Drones have become a useful tool for farmers who utilize the bird’s-eye view for crop surveillance, but the unique perspective only scratches the surface of the technology’s potential. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a technology that uses drones to identify nitrogen deficiencies on a plant-by-plant level using imaging analysis.

Developed with the support of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the technology uses a computer vision technique that examines the leaves of the corn plant for certain characteristics that correlate with nitrogen deficiency.

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