Category: Conservation

Summarizing news coverage of Gov. Dayton's water summit

We’ll have several more posts throughout this week covering Gov. Dayton’s water summit, which took place on Saturday in St. Paul. For now, here’s a quick summary of the news coverage of the event.

  • Right off the bat, anti-pipeline protesters interrupted the governor’s opening remarks during the summit. The stunt ended up hijacking the headlines in many media accounts of the summit.
  • Once the protesters left the stage,

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Farmers are moving earth (and planting grass) to deliver clean water

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

For five years, more than 40 farmers along the Root River have been studying and planning and this spring they will break ground on over 100 projects to create grassed waterways, sediment control basins and other structures to help achieve clean water goals for the Root River, one of the state’s ecological gems.

This is called the Root River Field-To-Stream partnership.  Kevin Kuehner, a soil scientist with Minnesota Department of Agriculture got the partnership together in 2009,

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Conservation, corn farming and your chance to win Twins season tickets

Once again, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has teamed with popular Minnesota Twins podcast “Gleeman & the Geek” to give away a 20-game Twins season ticket package for the 2016 season at Target Field.

All you have to do is download the latest “Gleeman & the Geek” podcast, listen for the keyword, and go to mnfarmteam.com to enter the keyword in the contest section. You can earn additional entries by Tweeting or Facebooking a special message that appears after you enter the keyword.

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Myth vs. Fact on farming, nitrogen, buffers and water quality

Myth: Farmers apply too much nitrogen on crop land.

Fact: University of Minnesota Best Management Practices for Nitrogen Use identifies an acceptable range of nitrogen fertilizer (N) at 130-180 pounds per acre for corn after corn and an acceptable range of 100-140 pounds per acre for corn after soybeans. An example of actual application rates, Minnesota farmers applied an average of 140 pounds per acre of nitrogen fertilizer on corn acres in 2010.

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Agriculture and water quality in Minnesota: Is it all doom and gloom?

When it comes to water quality in Minnesota, agency report after agency report and media story after media story paint a bleaker and bleaker picture. If you read enough of these reports and stories – and we read them all here at the Minnesota Corn office – you feel like Minnesota’s water quality is beyond repair.

The finger is pointed at agriculture as a major cause of water degradation in almost all of these reports or media pieces.

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The farmer’s perspective: Answering questions about agriculture’s impact on water quality

Here at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, we receive questions every day about farming, water quality and the efforts of farmers to protect and improve our states lakes, rivers and streams.

We decided to take some of the most commonly asked questions and answer them here on the blog. If you have questions that we didn’t answer in this post, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

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Corn Growers offering conservation innovation grants

Discovery Farms MinnesotaIf you’re a Minnesota corn farmer with an idea on how to better manage nitrogen and protect water quality, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) would like to help you put that idea into practice.

MCGA, working in partnership with the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC), is offering conservation innovation grants of up to $7,000 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,

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Corn Views: Water quality summit should focus on collaboration

by Noah Hultgren, Minnesota Corn Growers Association President

Governor Mark Dayton recently called for a statewide water quality summit to take place sometime in early 2016. Since agriculture is likely to be a focus of the summit, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight a few of the farmer-driven efforts to improve our state’s water quality, and share what I hope to see take place at the summit from a farmer’s perspective.

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Involve farmers in the water quality conversation

Doug Albin

by Doug Albin

As a third-generation family farmer, I’ve been paying attention to agriculture water quality issues for a long time.

On my farm, like many other Minnesota farmers, I use common conservation practices like grass waterways and buffers. I was also one of the first farmers in Minnesota to install a saturated buffer, which protects waterways from nitrogen fertilizer and other nutrients that could run off my fields during heavy rains.

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Give your soil breathing room with shallow tillage

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Conventional tillage has worked well in the Upper Midwest to address moderately excessive levels of early spring moisture, and to knock back weed pressure.

The problem is that tillage also destroys soil structure.  Soil structure builds biological activity and favors plant growth, in turn building up the soil structure even more. That was the message experts gave to hundreds of farmers at the Conservation Tillage Conference held in Willmar in mid-December.

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