Category: Agriculture

New University of Minnesota professor spotlights nutrient management strategies

With support from Minnesota’s corn farmers, Dr. Fabian Fernandez is the new assistant professor of nutrient management at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil, Water and Climate.

“There is no single silver bullet that will solve all the problems in managing nutrients, but instead we have to use many different strategies to achieve that reduction,” Fernandez said.

The Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council has devoted approximately $1 million through farmer-funded corn check-off dollars to the creation of Fernandez’ position at the U and supporting his research activities.

Read more >

MDA wraps up N management plan listening sessions

Plan would create phased response to nitrates in groundwater, with a potential for regulatory action

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Six listening sessions have not turned up any earth-shaking critical comments about the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) proposed Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan, according to MDA officials. The comment period continues until Nov. 1, at which point Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson will consider the comments and publish the final version of the plan.

Read more >

Government Shutdown: What it Means for Farmers

Like the rest of America, farmers woke up this morning and learned that the federal government is shut down.

How will the shutdown impact American agriculture? Unfortunately, we’re about to find out. For now, here’s what we know:

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has mostly gone dark. With the exception of food and grain inspections, fighting forest fires and monitoring government property, most of the department’s 100,000 employees are furloughed (put on temporary leave) and offices are closed.

Read more >

Ask a Farmer: How has the wild weather impacted corn fields this year?

“Ask a Farmer” is a monthly column from a Minnesota corn farmer that answers basic questions about farming for the non-farming public.

Written by Lori Feltis

If you know a farmer, you probably know that we like to talk about the weather. No news is typically good news when it comes to farming and the weather. Silence means Mother Nature is cooperating.

Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of weather news this year.

Read more >

SROC centennial celebration helps build connections to farming

In 1912-1913 the University of Minnesota purchased 240 acres in Waseca County, for the purpose of creating a “practical” farm that would operate according to the latest research information and best management practices. One hundred years later, the University’s “practical farm” continues as the Southern Research and Outreach Center (SROC), an important center for agricultural research, whose work has implications for farmers – and those who depend on farmers – around the world.

Read more >

University of Minnesota Extension Soil Compaction Field Day Videos

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association sponsored a Soil Compaction Field Day in conjunction with the University of Minnesota some time ago. The University’s Extension service recently created the below four videos from the field day:

Factors contributing to soil compaction

Soil structure: A natural defense against soil contraction

Managing vehicle traffic to reduce compaction

How to make your tires perform at their best

Read more >

Corn Links: Farm Bill, Chipotle and the Chesapeake Bay

The farm bill is still going nowhere, Chipotle gets called out by Funny or Die and a judge upholds a ruling on the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load issue. More details below in this Friday’s Corn Links:

Farm bill still stuck
If congress fails to pass a farm bill by Oct. 1, conservation programs will take a hit. According to Andrew McElwaine of the American Farmland Trust, conservation compliance has saved more than 295 million tons of soil annually and protected more than 3 million acres of wetlands.

Read more >

Food and Farming Panel Sparks Debate, Shows Complexity of Agriculture Issues

What happens when a college in the heart of Minnesota’s Iron Range holds a panel discussion on food, farming and agriculture policy?

I was curious, so I made the drive up to Itasca Community College (ICC) in Grand Rapids to listen to a panel titled “The Present and Future of Agriculture: The Benefits and Costs of Current Agricultural Policy.”

It began as a typical college campus panel discussion. Facts were recited.

Read more >

Farm Tour Highlights Nitrate Reduction Strategies

Two research locations in the coarse-textured soils of Central Minnesota highlight the sensitivity of the region to groundwater impacts, but also show how eager farmers are to come up with solutions that reduce the presence of nitrate-nitrogen below very stringent levels.

The Clean Water Fund generated by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment sales tax approved by Minnesota voters presents a number of opportunities to protect or remediate groundwater resources impacted by surface runoff.

Read more >