Category: Conservation

MN State Capitol

Legislative Recap: End of session and special session full of drama

The Legislature did not fully complete its business, including the passage of omnibus tax and budget bills, by the constitutional deadline of May 22nd at midnight, and went into a special session that finally concluded early Friday morning. Following is a report regarding key legislative issues important to farmers:

BUFFER LEGISLATION
The omnibus environmental and natural resources policy and finance bill was passed just before the close of the regular session. As amended,

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2017 Minnesota Session

Legislative Update: Farmers and local governments agree water buffer law is not ready

One of the most important issues we have discussed during this legislative session is the need to make modifications to the water buffer law and to delay its implementation. The law was originally passed in 2015 and is scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1st of this year. Unfortunately, the law is just not ready to be implemented.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has taken a leadership role in communicating with lawmakers,

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Buffers in eastern MN

Ag organizations and rural counties call for modifications and delay of state water buffer law

Eighteen Minnesota farm and agricultural organizations and several local government officials representing rural counties signed onto a joint letter to Governor Dayton and legislative leaders urgently requesting they make needed modifications to the water buffer law and delay its implementation date to give local governments and farmers enough time to comply.

The letter was led by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and signees include the Minnesota Farmers Union; Minnesota Farm Bureau;

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MN Capitol

Legislative Update: Major bills coming to fruition

Leadership in both the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate continues to focus on the top priorities of tax relief, a state budget and a transportation bill. Legislators will have just two weeks before the 2017 session closes on May 22 to negotiate final agreements with the Dayton administration to avoid a special session.

To move things forward, House and Senate leaders met with the Governor’s office this week to do the groundwork necessary for negotiations to take place on major bills that could soon emerge from conference committees.

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Farmer follows five principles for soil health

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Dozens of farmers recently spent the day trading their cover crop experiences and other soil health techniques at a field day event hosted by the Pipestone Soil and Water Conservation District. The setting was the Pipestone farm of Ian Cunningham, who uses cover crops as one element in a five-part pursuit of healthy soil.

On his farm, Cunningham keeps soil covered for as much of the year as possible,

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2017 Minnesota Session

Legislative Update: Big bills, big issues in negotiations

Minnesota House and Senate conference committee members continued their work this week to craft compromises in major legislation concerning taxes and the state budget, transportation and regulation, some of which will have an impact on the state’s farming sector.

BUFFER LAW

The voices of farmers and agriculture interests are being heard in St. Paul concerning the state’s buffer law and the Legislation designed to improve it. A recent InForum article discussed how local governments,

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Minnesota Corn takes the pitch with MN United

MCGA has partnered with MN United, the state’s Major League Soccer team located in the Twin Cities, to share the conservation efforts of Minnesota’s corn farmers. The season-long partnership is an opportunity to reach a young, engaged audience and includes in-stadium signage, TV advertisements and other promotions.

On Sunday, MCGA was the presenting sponsor of the match as MN United beat the Colorado Rapids 1-0 at TCF Bank Stadium. Corn-focused festivities kicked off on the plaza outside of the stadium prior to the game,

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MN Capitol

Legislative Update: Lawmakers pick up negotiations on key topics

State legislators returned to St. Paul from their annual Spring Break this week to open House-Senate negotiations on the state budget, taxes and other issues, including several bills that impact corn farmers and agriculture. Prior to the Easter/Passover break, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) took the lead in organizing a media outreach effort to raise awareness of key ag issues and urge farmers and rural residents to contact legislators during the break. The MCGA effort generated dozens of media mentions across Minnesota,

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MN Planting 2017: Reason for optimism

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

If USDA estimates prove true, farmers will plant 450,000 fewer acres of corn in Minnesota while increasing soybean acres by around 700,000 acres. The total state planting in these principal crops will be 8 million acres and 8.25 million for corn and soybeans, respectively.

According to the USDA, corn planted area nationwide for all purposes in 2017 is estimated at 90.0 million acres,

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Buffer near Montevideo, MN

Buffers: Here’s where we are at

One of the most important topics to farmers during the 2017 legislative session, the buffer law was created to protect state water resources from erosion and runoff pollution. While farmers agree with the intended outcome, many are concerned with various aspects of timing and implementation of the buffers.

At the Capitol, the House and Senate proposed legislation that includes delaying buffer law implementation, modified definitions of public waters and necessary buffer widths,

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