Legislative Update: MCGA directors advocate for federal priorities in nation’s capital

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association Senior Public Policy Director

Last week, a group of Minnesota Corn Growers Association
(MCGA) directors spent time in Washington D.C. advocating for federal policy
priorities with members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation and other key
House and Senate leaders, as well as important agencies.

One of the top federal priorities for MCGA and the National
Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is the successful congressional approval of the
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

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Phosphorous produces on-farm benefits with careful use

Written by Jonathan

Like nitrogen, phosphorous pays off with better yielding crops,
while also warranting careful use. This was one of the vital messages at the
recent Nutrient Management Conference in St. Cloud, organized by the University
of Minnesota and the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center.

Heidie Peterson, who leads the phosphorous program at the International Plant Nutrition Institute, spoke to a room full of farmers and crop consultants to emphasize that point.

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AGREETT brings an influx of ag talent to Minnesota

Three years in, the Agricultural Research, Education and
Extension Tech Transfer program (AGREETT) has led to several key hires at the
University of Minnesota that will pay
dividends for the long-term health of Minnesota agriculture.

“[AGREETT] has been phenomenally
,” said Greg Cuomo, associate dean for research and graduate
programs at the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
(CFANS). “It has given the University the opportunity to fill key positions and
address problems impacting agriculture in the short and long term.”

Without AGREETT,

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EPA rule allowing year-round E15 released with cautious optimism

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a
proposed rule allowing year-round sales of E15 this week. While the rule would
finally give consumes access to E15 during the summer driving months, a
Renewable Identification Number (RIN) reform package also included in the rule tempers
biofuel supporters’ optimism.

Year-round access to E15 would provide a much needed boost
in corn demand for corn farmers nationwide enduring consecutive years of
declining farm income. However, the included RIN reform package will need to be
carefully reviewed before the rule is considered an overall win for farmers and
biofuel supporters.

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AGREETT drives statewide ag innovation

In 2015, the Minnesota legislature established the Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Tech Transfer program (AGREETT) with a multi-year $5 million investment that would boost agricultural research at the University of Minnesota. Three years in, AGREETT has already made tremendous strides in its goal to achieve long-term sustainability in Minnesota agriculture.

Through AGREETT, the University of Minnesota has hired 21 faculty members in Extension and the colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Food,

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