Category: Agriculture

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,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The pros and cons of pre-plant, sidedress or split-applying nitrogen

Dr. Fabian Fernandez. a nutrient management and water quality specialist at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil, Water and Climate spoke to more than 450 farmers and ag professionals at the 5th annual Minnesota Crop Nutrient Management conference on Tuesday in Mankato.

During his presentation, Fernandez offered insight into the pros and cons of pre-plant, sidedress and split applications of nitrogen (N).

As long as Mother Nature cooperates,

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Information on corn, soybeans added to small grains update meetings in Northwest Minnesota

Blizzards, road closures, winter storms and wind chill warnings didn’t stop more than 400 farmers in Northwest Minnesota from attending a series of Small Grains Update meetings in mid-January. Minnesota grower associations representing corn, soybean and wheat braved the tricky roads and icy conditions to meet with growers at eight locations over four days to cover many important topics.

The meetings were held in conjunction with local crop improvement meetings and county soybean and corn grower association annual meetings.

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Getting to know MCGA's new farmer-leaders

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

In recent elections, farmers Kirby Hettver, Paul Henning and Tim Wiersma were elected to serve on the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) board of directors.

Hettver, 39, farms with his brothers in Chippewa County on a farm that has been in his family since 1902. Hettver and his brothers are fifth-generation farmers and grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa on 1,600 acres.

The brothers also have a seed business combined with custom planting and harvesting,

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U.S. Senate approves farm bill, sends to President Obama for signature

By a vote of 68-32, the U.S. Senate approved a new five-year farm bill on Tuesday afternoon. The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law later this week.

Both Minnesota senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, voted to pass the farm bill.

In a statement released shortly after the vote, Klobuchar said, “As a member of the Farm Bill conference committee,

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Agriculture in China: A student's perspective

By Kevin Welter

I met with my college advisor my sophomore year, and I recall her asking me if I had ever thought of studying abroad. I responded that I had never considered it. She promptly informed me of a two-week agriculture-focused study abroad trip to China in May 2013. It fulfilled a requirement to graduate, and I knew that a friend was already planning on participating as well. That was enough for me to decide to sign up,

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