Category: Conservation

Field-to-Stream Partnership helps farmers improve water quality in Southeast MN

A collaboration among farmers, farm groups, private industry, conservation organizations, researchers and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is gathering on-farm data to help farmers better protect water quality in Southeastern Minnesota.

The Root River Field-to-Stream Partnership started in 2009 and uses innovative equipment and technology to monitor sediment and nutrient runoff from farm fields. The real-world, on-farm runoff data will help farmers better understand what is leaving their fields and entering nearby waterways so they can implement conservation practices to address the issue.

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Amazing drone footage of a MN farmer protecting water quality

Dan Erickson, a third-generation farmer near Alden in Southern Minnesota, joined a growing number of corn farmers this year who side-dress nitrogen.

Nitrogen, aka fertilizer, is needed to provide nutrients that grow corn — Minnesota’s most bountiful crop that produces food, feed, fiber and fuel for the entire world. Technological advancements, combined with years of farmer-funded research, now make it possible for corn farmers to apply nitrogen at different times during the growing season.

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Toquam family carries on conservation and farming tradition

The Toquam family’s history of on-farm conservation efforts started back in the 1930s, when Clifford Toquam planted a line of arbor vitae trees three-eighths of a mile long to protect his fields from wind erosion.

Today, Roger Toquam and his family are the fourth generation to carry on that farming and conservation tradition.

“There’s something bred in a farmer about knowing what’s the right thing to do,” Roger said. “It bothers us if we see soil erosion or runoff happening.

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Make your voice heard: Ask Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken to stop WOTUS

Unless farmers, landowners and other concerned citizens act now, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is set to go into effect on Aug. 28.

As most readers know, the new WOTUS rule dramatically expands the definition of what constitutes a water of the United States under the federal Clean Water Act. Ditches, ponds and low areas of a field that only contain moisture for a few days out of the year could be subject to permit requirements under the Clean Water Act if WOTUS is implemented.

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Today's farms are greener than grandpa's

Today’s edition of the Star Tribune features an op-ed from Seth Spronk, a livestock and row crop farmer in Edgerton, Minn., on the efforts of today’s farmers to protect our land, soil and water resources. Spronk wrote the piece in response to a July 5 Star Tribune story that featured the town of Edgerton (located in Pipestone County) and examined water quality and agricultural runoff.

Spronk detailed the many steps he takes on his own farm to effectively manage the application of manure and other inputs to best protect the area’s drinking water,

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Corn Views: Water quality discussion shouldn’t require a scoreboard

Written by Bruce Peterson

Unfortunately, many of us have a tendency to treat our political process like a sporting event. Who won? Who lost? Who will come out on top when one side of an issue faces off against the other?

Instead of coming together to try and find practical solutions and develop meaningful policy, too much time is spent on political games and trying to figure out “winners” and “losers.”

Farmers found themselves the middle of one of these showdowns during the last legislative session when Gov.

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Pollinator plot installed at Minnesota Corn Growers Association office

The shovels and rakes were out Wednesday morning at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) office in Shakopee as staff began installing a new pollinator plot on the east side of the building.

A total of 10 pollinator-friendly wildflowers and prairie grass mixes were planted, including butterfly milkweed, solidago goldenrod and smooth blue aster. Blueberries will be added in the near future.

MCGA will be handing out pollinator-friendly wildflower seed mixes at Farmfest on Aug.

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Farmfest nitrate screening helps farmers address water quality

Bring your water samples from wells, ditches, streams or tile outlets to Farmfest for free nitrate screening, courtesy of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center (MAWRC).

The screening is completely confidential and takes about 20 minutes. You can drop off your sample at the MAWRC location inside of the AURI tent, check out Farmfest, then pick up your results anytime.

“There’s a lot of attention being paid to nitrates in groundwater and surface waters,”

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Here are details on the newly passed buffer amendment

 

As the Minnesota legislative session dragged into late into Sunday night and early Monday morning, the Environment and Agriculture Committee again adopted language on the buffer issue. The amendment, basically, calls for the enforcement of existing buffer laws on a timeline for adoption and includes a fine for noncompliance.

The final omnibus Environment/Ag bill is awaiting final approval by the House and Senate, then goes to the Governor’s office for signature.

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From today's Star Tribune: Enough with all of this Minnesota farmer-bashing

Noah Hultgren, a fourth-generation family farmer in Raymond, Minn., and First Vice President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, has an op-ed in today’s Star Tribune that covers what corn farmers are doing to address water quality concerns.

Hultgren also shares his perspective Gov. Dayton’s buffer strip proposal and tackles “what seems to be a coordinated effort to label farmers as polluters who are doing nothing to address water-quality concerns.”

Here is an excerpt from the piece:

We don’t need more shouting.

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