Category: Agriculture

Minnesota farmers projected to plant 8.6 million corn acres

The USDA prospective plantings report is out and it forecasts Minnesota farmers planting 8.6 million corn acres in 2014, which would be the same number of corn acres planted throughout the state in 2013.

Nationally, 91.7 million acres are projected to be corn. That’s down 4 percent from last year and the lowest in the United States since 2010. However, it’s still the fifth-highest total since 1944.

Soybean acres are estimated to be up 6 percent to 81.5 million acres.

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Minnesota farmers look ahead to a strong corn crop

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

With USDA’s prospective plantings report due to be released at 11 a.m. Central today, Minnesota Cornerstone visited with some Minnesota corn farmers to get their planting outlook and thoughts on the upcoming season.

Farmers across Minnesota still see a strong market for corn and plan to plant accordingly. The price situation and other factors have made soybeans more attractive for farmers who have been planting corn-on-corn over the last few seasons.

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Making their voices heard: Legislative reception connects corn farmers and policymakers

Over 40 state legislators, staff, and agency leaders talked farming, biofuels and agriculture policy with corn farmers at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) legislative reception in St. Paul on Wednesday.

The annual reception is an opportunity for corn farmers to connect with policymakers in an informal setting and help develop a better understanding of the challenges faced by farmers.

“The reception is another way to make sure the voices of corn farmers are being heard,”

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Minnesota farm machinery repair and warehouse taxes repealed

It took a little longer than expected. And, of course, it included some political drama near the end of the process. But the Minnesota legislature finally repealed new taxes it enacted last session on farm machinery repairs and warehouse storage.

The bill, which includes several other tax relief provisions outside of the agriculture sector, was passed by the Minnesota House and Senate on Friday and signed by Governor Dayton not long after.

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And the survey says: Comparing young farmers, Minnesota corn farmers survey results

The American Farm Bureau Federation recently released results from its annual outlook survey of participants in its national Young farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) program. Let’s take a minute and compare some of the YF&R survey results with results from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s (MCGA) recent survey of Minnesota corn farmers.

Top concerns

  • Securing adequate land to grow crops and raise livestock was the No. 1 concern of respondents to the YF&R survey.

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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.

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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.

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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,

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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”

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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.

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