Category: Conservation

Minnesota Crop Nutrient Management Conference set for Feb. 9

Last year, a record crowd of more than 450 farmers, crop consultants and agriculture professionals attended the Minnesota Crop Nutrient Management Conference.

Organizers are hoping for an even bigger turnout this year when the Crop Nutrient Management Conference kicks off at 8:30 a.m. on on Monday, Feb. 9, at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato.

“It’s become a pretty important place to share the latest research on nutrient management,”

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Discovery Farms Profile: Putting nutrients where crops can use them

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Brian and Cindy Herbst figure that 15 percent of their farm fields consistently yield about 275 bushels of corn per acre.

These top performing parcels are no accident. The Herbsts identified them using grid soil sampling and careful yield monitoring. Add the “pure gold” of manure from their hog finishing operation and the soil in these spots reaches its true potential as a cornucopia.

“We tend to under apply (manure) for the crop needs and then we can come back and side dress our nitrogen or do whatever it takes to bring it up to the right levels.

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Setting the record straight about ethanol and air quality

There’s a new study from the University of Minnesota making the rounds that claims ethanol may be worse for air quality than gasoline. The study is based on flawed models and disingenuous assumptions about ethanol production vs. oil production. Nonetheless, it’s generating a decent amount of media coverage.

The study’s authors cherry-pick models and adjust methodologies until they conform to what appear to be anti-ethanol viewpoints. Their work differs greatly from the work done by USDA,

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MCGA Radio: Warren Formo talks Discovery Farms Minnesota

On this week’s Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Radio, Warren Formo from the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center provides an update on Discovery Farms Minnesota.

Formo also highlights a series of feature stories we’re doing here at MinnesotaCornerstone.com to profile the farmers who participate in Discovery Farms Minnesota.

Listen to Formo’s interview below, then catch up on the feature stories here, here and here.

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Discovery Farms Profile: Measuring up to a high standard in water quality means the world to Simonsen family

written by Jonathan Eisenthal

For years, Diamond Lake has been the summer gathering place for the Simonsen family. Four years ago Paul and Janet built a house there to replace the family cabin. Fishing, swimming and jet skiing all have their devotees among the three generations.

So Paul and Janet Simonsen, who farm in Renville County, are very conscious about water quality.

That might be the top reason they decided to sign on with the farmer-funded research program called Minnesota Discovery Farms — 11 different farm operations across Minnesota,

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Discovery Farms Minnesota helps farmers protect water quality and soil fertility

A green rectangular box with a solar panel on top and weather instruments jutting into the air sits at t the edge of Doug Hager’s field south of Mankato.

There’s a flume on the ground to the left, and beyond that is another green box, a trail camera and rain gauge.

The setup looks mysterious, but all that equipment is helping Minnesota farmers protect water quality and soil fertility. Hager’s farm is one of 11 Minnesota Discovery Farms,

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Fifth-generation farmers to be honored at Gophers football home opener

by Jonathan Eisenthal

Kirby Hettver represents the fifth generation of his family to farm in Chippewa County, 20 miles west of Willmar. Kirby, wife Mandi and daughters Amelia (8) and Hazelee (6) will be honored Thursday night as the Minnesota Corn Growers Farm Team Family when the Gophers open their football season against Eastern Illinois at 6 p.m. on Thursday at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Hettver’s are being honored because of their commitment to take care of the land they farm.

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Nitrate sample testing offered by MAWRC a hit at Farmfest

With all the recent buzz about ag water quality, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) offered free and confidential sample testing for nitrates at this year’s FarmFest, Aug. 5-7 near Redwood Falls.

“We tested samples of water that landowners brought from wells, drainage tile and ditches on their property,” said Tim Radatz, research specialist at MAWRC. “We got an excellent response to the service. People who were unaware that we were offering it stopped and talked to us anyway.

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EWG recycles a bunch of ethanol myths, calls it a "study"

What do you get when Big Oil and corporate activists team up to attack farmers and consumers?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and its new (*ahem*), “study” bashing ethanol and corn farmers.

The (*cough*) “study” comes out just as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to issue a final ruling on its proposal to slash the amount of homegrown ethanol blended into our fuel supply as called for in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

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