Category: Conservation

Answering farmers' questions about Minnesota's Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan

HarvestHave you read the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s 143-page Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan yet?

You haven’t? Well, what are you waiting for?

Just kidding. We don’t blame you if you think the Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan is a little intimidating. It’s in-depth, it’s technical and it’s 143 pages. Who has the time to read a 143-page document these days?

However, the Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan is something all Minnesota corn farmers should familiarize themselves with.

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Legislative Update: What farmers need to know about the recently completed session

Written by Anna Boroff, Public Policy Director for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Another Minnesota legislative session has come and gone. Like other recent sessions, this one featured a flurry of activity toward the end, resulting in some bills getting passed, and some left on the table unfinished.

Let’s take a quick look at some key items from this legislative session that Minnesota corn farmers should be aware of:

Property tax relief
The No.

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Farmer works to protect water quality by turning something old into something new

 

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Lee Thompson, 52, has made gutsy decisions on his farm. He and his brother Rick decided to sell the dairy herd four years ago.

He’s also made some easy decisions. Since he started working with his son-in-law Dan Coffman as his agronomist three years ago, Lee has tried lots of small experiments, incremental changes, to try to improve yield and return on the farm in Nicollet,

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Everything you need to know about Minnesota's buffer laws

With planting season underway and a new bill recently signed into law by Gov. Dayton that clarifies several items in Minnesota’s new buffer law (which was passed during the 2015 legislative session), the Minnesota Corn Growers Association put together the following Frequently Asked Questions post the buffer law.

To the best of our abilities, we tried to simplify the many complexities of the bill so farmers had an easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive, reference point when asking questions about the buffer law.

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Legislative Update: Drones, ethanol, transportation and more

Written by Anna Boroff, Senior Policy Director for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA)

It sounds like Minnesota farmers are making great progress this planting season. As of last week, 45 percent of the state’s corn crop was in the ground, two weeks ahead of the five-year average.

As you continue making progress, we want to make sure you’re staying up to date on the latest agriculture legislative and policy happenings in Washington D.C.

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Attention farmers: MCGA is offering FREE nitrate screening to help you address water quality

Sam P3The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is giving farmers the opportunity to have their well, ditch, stream and tile outlet water tested for nitrates. And it’s completely free.

UPDATE: We’ve added two additional screening opportunities in Crookston and Lamberton. See the updated schedule below.

The screening is completely confidential and takes about 20 minutes. Nitrate testing is an easy way for farmers to get a better idea about water conditions and nutrient loss on their own farms.

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Legislative update: What's happening in St. Paul and Washington D.C. while farmers are planting?

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Senior Public Policy Director.

It sounds like planting progress is moving full speed ahead out in farm country. In St. Paul, the legislative session also continues churning forward. Here is a quick farm-focused legislative update to peruse while you’re in the tractor planting.

Buffer bill passes
Last week the House voted to pass a bill that clarifies several items in the buffer bill passed last year.

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Grant helps farmers use innovative irrigation system to reduce nutrient loss

MCGA.2013-0089Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

When Chad Davison, 34, came home to the farm from a business career at Target Corporation he brought with him a love of logistics and technological innovation — he had most recently managed the shelf inventory of brand name coffee at all the Targets in North America.

His dad made the family farm run on hard-won agronomic know-how.

Where the two overlapped was in a love of land stewardship and the rewards precision agriculture can offer — especially in a 4,500 acre row-crop farm in the Red River Valley town of Tintah,

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Through research, farmer hopes to find the ‘Goldilock’s rate’ of nitrogen fertilizer

Patsche-1370Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Root River watershed in southeast Minnesota, farmer Wayne Dewall has always been conscious of conservation and land stewardship.

That’s why he jumped at the chance six years ago to take part in the innovative Root River Field To Stream Partnership. For six years now, the program has monitored the loss of soil and nutrients from farm fields.

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Minnesota farmer works to plant cover crops while side-dressing nitrogen fertilizer

Spend a few minutes visiting with Keith Hartmann, a 27-year-old, fourth-generation family farmer in Gibbon, Minn., and his passion for agriculture and clean water quickly becomes apparent. Hartmann is using that passion to move forward on a unique project that he hopes will make cover crops a more realistic option for farmers in Minnesota’s chilly climate.

By mid-June, Hartmann plans to have a piece of equipment ready that will plant cover crops while side-dressing nitrogen fertilizer,

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