Category: Agriculture

Minnesota corn farmers featured in recent media stories

A couple of Minnesota corn farmers were recently featured Corn & Soybean Digest and in the AgStar Today publication.

Bruce Peterson farms in Northfield and is the vice president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA). Corn and Soybean Digest asked Bruce what practiced has improved his return on investment. Bruce talked about both the environmental and potential yield benefits of split-applying nitrogen.

It’s hard to do side-by-side yield comparisons of all preplant versus split applications.

Read more >

Calling out the "Free Corn Coalition"

free cornNational Corn Growers Association president Martin Barbre has called out ethanol opponents in the livestock and poultry sector for recently signing a letter supporting EPA’s proposed cuts to the Renewable Fuel Standard. Barbre writes:

It is one thing to complain about the price of corn when it is $8 per bushel, as it came close to doing in the late summer of 2012, when the drought reduced the corn supply by four billion bushels.

Read more >

Corn prices are down, food prices are up

One of the main talking points of the anti-ethanol crowd centers on the myth that using corn for ethanol drives up corn prices and makes our food more expensive.

A recent story in the Wall St. Journal noted that federal forecasters estimate retail food prices will rise as much as 3.5 percent this year. Those prices are going up despite the fact that we’re continuing to produce a lot of ethanol,

Read more >

Invest an Acre program asks farmers to help fight local hunger

If you’re a Minnesota farmer and you want to play an even bigger role in fighting hunger in your own community, check out the “Invest an Acre” program.

Six food banks serving Minnesota are asking farmers to participate in Feeding America’s “Invest an Acre” program by pledging revenue from their 2014 crop, with the goal of having 1,000 acres pledged in Minnesota this year.

How does “Invest an Acre”

Read more >

USDA releases before and after of the 2014 Farm Bill

USDA has released a document highlighting some of the differences between the previous farm bill and the recently passed 2014 farm bill.

Notable differences on the farm safety net provisions include:

  • Direct payments are eliminated
  • Farmers will now choose between Price Loss Coverage and Agricultural Risk Coverage

The new farm bill also consolidates several conservation programs and links basic conservation practices to crop insurance premium subsidies on highly erodible lands and wetlands.

Read more >

Should voluntary water regulations for farmers be made mandatory?

Minnesota Public Radio asked visitors to its website this week if voluntary water regulations for farmers should be made mandatory. So far the response to the question in the comments section doesn’t appear to contain many farmer viewpoints.

If you farm, and you have an opinion on the topic, don’t be afraid to share your perspective. Perhaps you could let people know how Minnesota’s corn farmers use their own money through a voluntary check-off program to fund more than $4 million in new and ongoing research efforts annually,

Read more >

How center pivot irrigation helps my family’s farm

Central pivot irrigationBy Nick Peterson

As I have made my way around the state of Minnesota the past number of years through work, school, and recreational trips, I’ve realized my idea of Minnesota is quite a bit different than I grew up thinking. Growing up on a crop and livestock farm in Sherburne County, it is apparent that our way of farming is more in the minority than it is the majority.

Read more >

Bad burritos, corporate marketing schemes and American farmers

A couple of years ago I had a free consultation with a nutritionist as part of my membership at an area health club. Normally, I would have blown off the consultation. I knew my eating habits needed improvement. Why would I waste an hour having some stranger tell me the obvious?

But for some reason, I set an appointment with the nutritionist. She told me to keep a diary of everything I ate that week and bring it to our session.

Read more >

How being a farmer is like being a parent

By Kristie Swenson

As a mom and as a farmer, I can draw many similarities between parenting and farming.

As a parent, you are no longer responsible for “just” yourself. You are responsible for another life (or multiple lives, when you have multiple kids). You’re not only responsible for feeding, bathing, and clothing your child; you are also responsible for teaching, explaining, demonstrating, and learning, among other responsibilities.

It’s similar with being a farmer.

Read more >

Grain marketing slows down due to prices, weather

By Jonathan Eisenthal

Observers have tracked a slow down below the typically slow movement of grain in January and February this year.

“There’s no doubt that’s going on,” said Ed Usset about a recent trend of farmers holding onto more of their grain than usual after the 2013 harvest. Usset is a professor at the University of Minnesota and an expert in grain marketing.

“There’s some denial going on.

Read more >