Category: Conservation

Corn growers see long-term benefit of best practices

Minnesota’s corn growers are working towards becoming the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn farmers in the nation. The goal requires both a strong commitment to land stewardship by the state’s farmers and a financial commitment to ensure today’s best practices reflect the latest research.

Through the investment in the corn check-off, Minnesota’s farmers are working with third-party research institutions, growers and state officials to develop practices that leave the land fruitful for future generations.

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Field day focuses on reducing impact of weather extremes through soil health practices

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

When it comes to soil health, every farmer knows the impact of prolonged high temperatures, heavy winds and sudden downpours. Cover crops are gaining in popularity to help reduce the negative effects of Mother Nature, and a recent field day, organized by the Soil Health Partnership, took a deep dive into cover crop practices that help farmers better weather drought and soil movement from wind or rain.

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Field day on July 17 takes comprehensive look at cover crop strategies

As part of its mission to make farming more productive and sustainable through soil health, the Soil Health Partnership is holding a field day Tuesday, July 17, in Buffalo Lake for an up-close look at cover crop strategies.

Hosted on the farm of Brian Ryberg, who is a Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Participant, the field day is titled “Growing Farm Returns through Soil Health.” From 1:30 p.m.

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Farmer-led, conservation-minded research returns

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) launched the third year of the Innovation Grant Program, investing in 12 farmer-led research projects focused on preventing nitrogen loss. Each accepted proposal focuses on innovative solutions to prevent the loss of nitrogen to ground and surface water, keeping the nutrient in the soil.

Working with the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council, MCGA announced the Innovation Grant Program in 2016 as part of its goal to make Minnesota corn farmers the most sustainable and environmentally responsible in the United States.

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Groundwater Protection Rule: What’s next?

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule – previously referred to as the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule – on April 24, 2018. The Groundwater Protection Rule was formally published in the Minnesota State Register on April 30th, followed by an 80-day comment period.

The proposed Groundwater Protection Rule, the statement of need and reasonableness, appendixes for the statement of need and reasonableness and the notice of public hearings are listed on the MDA website here. 

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At Farmers Fair, farmers share conservation know-how

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) teams up with Sauk River Watershed District each spring to organize the Stearns County Farmers Fair, where they bring farmers the latest information about conservation.

What has made the fair successful in its first two years is the farmers themselves give the presentations about the conservation practices they have implemented, the methods they use—what works and what hasn’t worked.

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Minnesota corn farmers take proactive approach to water quality

In fall 2016, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and its grower leaders announced an ambitious goal to become the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn farmers in the nation. A major part of that goal is to continuously improve the measures implemented by farmers to protect nearby waterways.

Minnesota’s corn growers are investing in research and education to better manage their use of nitrogen fertilizer. Since 2014, Minnesota’s corn farmers have invested nearly $6 million of their own funds through the corn check-off in education and research that improves nitrogen management strategies to reduce nitrate loss in water.

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Seed stewardship during planting

While we wondered if it would ever come, planting season is almost here for much of Minnesota. In advance of farmers hitting the field, farmers are reminded of the importance of good seed stewardship.

Today’s seed treatments help farmers protect their crops from insects and disease, allowing for healthier crops and greater yields while limiting potential environmental impacts.

Like farming, there’s a science to using treated seed and it’s important for farmers to properly steward treated seeds.

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Buffers in eastern MN

Gov. Dayton states support for tax relief for ag land converted to buffers

Governor Mark Dayton announced his support today for a bill that was a top priority for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) during the 2018 legislative session. The bipartisan legislation would provide farmers with a $50 per acre tax credit for farmland no longer in production due to the Minnesota Buffer Law, eliminating the financial penalty of continuing to impose property taxes at the highest rates on farm land that is converted to buffers.

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New service brings livestock to farmers for grazing opportunities

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Providing low-cost feed for the cattle while enriching soil, grazing is one of the five principles of crop land soil health. But for farmers who have the right operation to utilize grazing, just finding livestock producers who are willing and able to transport their herds can be tricky.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Cropland Grazing Exchange has just marked its first year of helping approximately 100 livestock farmers and row crop farmers make that connection by serving as matchmaker between the two.

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