Category: Conservation

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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What’s next for the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule

Throughout August, the farming community submitted comments to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) on the latest draft of the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, which would limit fertilizer application in vulnerable groundwater areas and implement a process for mitigation where high concentrations of nitrates are found in groundwater.

By the end of the comment period, more than 800 total comments were submitted to MDA on the current draft of the rule. Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) farmer leaders submitted comments on behalf of the organization,

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Minnesota corn farm-Summer 2016

Innovation Grant Program returns for 2018

Minnesota corn farmers will 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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New tool helps farmers choose alternative practices to buffers

Alternatives to Buffers Management Tool:

  • Click here to access the Quick Start Guide.
  • Click here to access the Tool (please note, an Excel Spreadsheet will open)
  • Click here to access the AgroEcoregion Mapbook to find out which region your land is located in
  • If you have questions about the Alternatives to Buffers Management Tool, MCGA recommends you visit your local SWCD office.

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Research Summary details the latest in check-off-funded research

As some may have noticed in their mailbox earlier this month, Minnesota Corn’s Research Summary 2017 has been released! We invite you to read this year’s summary and see Minnesota corn check-off dollars at work funding research that improves agricultural practices and creates new opportunities for corn farmers.

Research Summary 2017

Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council directs more than $4 million annually to independent research projects that promote the environmental and economic sustainability of farmers.

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4R Field Day showcases farmers’ success with conservation tillage

(Dave Legvold (left) speaks with New Prague farmer Greg Entinger, who is president of the Scott-LeSueur Corn & Soybean Growers, at the Field Day)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Last month, the 4R Technology Review Field Day gave farmers the opportunity to see first-hand the practices and success behind the 4R nutrient management strategy: Right source, Right rate, Right time and in the Right place.

The event,

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