Category: Conservation

Innovation Grant Spotlight: Reduced versus traditional tillage

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Throughout the summer we have been highlighting projects from the 2017 Innovation Grant Program, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Through tomorrow, you can apply to the 2018 Innovation Grant Program here. MCGA will be distributing as much as $300,000 to farmers interested in testing an idea on their farm.

While many farmers are sticking to traditional tilling practices,

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Bringing the farm to University of Minnesota underclassmen

(Lauren Biegler with her husband, Bryan, on their Lake Wilson farm)

Last week nearly 200 University of Minnesota underclassmen attended their introductory nutrition course for a lesson they may not have expected when enrolling in the class. Lauren Biegler, who is a CommonGround Minnesota volunteer, represented the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) by joining others from agriculture on a panel about modern farming.

While the ins and outs of today’s farm operations may not have a clear connection to the education of aspiring dietitians,

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Minnesota corn farm-Summer 2016

2018 Innovation Grant Program proposal deadline is Dec. 15

Minnesota corn farmers once again have the opportunity to put their innovative conservation ideas into action through the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s (MCGA) Innovation Grant Program. Proposals on how to reduce nitrate loss, improve soil health, and protect water quality are being accepted through Dec.15, 2017.

MCGA, working alongside the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC), is offering a total of $300,000 in Innovation Grants to any Minnesota corn farmer seeking to test or develop an innovative or best practice in the following areas:

  • Nitrate loss reduction
  • Improved nitrogen management practices for Minnesota soils
  • Maintaining or improving water quality
  • Innovative soil conservation practices
  • Comparing and contrasting the measurable values of large data set decision tools

In 2017,

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Innovation Grant Spotlight: Matt Wiebers

The 2017 Innovation Grant Program is well underway, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Throughout the summer and fall we have been highlighting ongoing projects focused on how to better manage nitrogen and protect water quality. You can apply to the 2018 Innovation Grant Program here.

As an Innovation Grant recipient, Matt Wiebers is working with farmers to find the optimal nitrogen rate on their farms through trials that not only provide actionable information,

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Innovation Grant Spotlight: Hicks family brings science home to the farm

(Photo:  The Hicks family, who received the Innovation Grant, in order—David Hicks, Adam Hicks, Brian Hicks, Michelle Hicks, Madelynne Hicks, Mariah Hicks, Mercedes Hicks and in front is Stephen Hicks.)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The 2017 Innovation Grant Program is well underway, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Throughout the summer and fall we have been highlighting ongoing projects focused on how to better manage nitrogen and protect water quality.

Read more >

Buffer Alternative Practices

Buffer Law deadline for compliance is Nov. 1

The deadline for farmers to comply with the Minnesota Buffer Law is less than a month away.

By Nov. 1, the law requires farmers to install a 50-foot vegetative buffer on all public waters, or file for a waiver that extends the deadline. By Nov. 1, 2018, farmers must have a 16.5-foot buffer on all public ditches.

Prior to Nov. 1, farmers are encouraged to visit their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office to discuss options for compliance and implementation under Minnesota’s buffer law.

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National Geographic shares the stories of nation’s corn farmers

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) partnered with National Geographic this fall to share the stories of America’s corn farmers with a robust national audience. Four farmers, including Minnesota’s Bryan Biegler, were visited by the magazine over the summer, and their stories will be told on NationalGeographic.com and its social channels through November.

The campaign features four articles, each of which profile one farmer detailing the impact of innovation and technology on corn farming.

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Innovation Grant Spotlight: Keith Hartmann

The 2017 Innovation Grant Program is well underway, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Throughout the summer we have been highlighting ongoing projects focused on how to better manage nitrogen and protect water quality.

Keith Hartmann is in his second year of participating in the Innovation Grant Program. The Gibbon farmer joined in year one to test interseeding cover crops in between corn rows while applying nitrogen in the same pass.

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Field day touts bottom-line benefits of soil health

(Photo: Soil Health Partnership Director Nick Goeser shows the benefits of cover crops up close)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Bryan Biegler has planted mixes of rye grass, turnips, brassicas and more as cover crops between the rows of his corn and soybeans. His hope is the right mix will mean he can stop applying pre-emergent herbicide.

In August, Biegler hosted about 60 farmers, agronomists and conservationists recently at a field day to discuss his work with soil-friendly cover crops and reduced tillage.

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Innovation Grant Spotlight: Brian Ryberg

The 2017 Innovation Grant Program is well underway, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Throughout the summer we have been highlighting ongoing projects focused on how to better manage nitrogen and protect water quality.

There was a time when Brian Ryberg tilled the land on his Buffalo Lake farm until the soil was solid black prior to another season of corn-on-corn planting.

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