Category: Conservation

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,

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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,”

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

Setting the record straight on converting Minnesota wetlands to crops

A recent study from the University of Wisconsin – Madison claims that Minnesota converted more wetlands into farmland than any other state from 2008-12. Unfortunately, many media outlets reported the findings of this study without scrutinizing the study’s methodologies or questioning why it wasn’t peer-reviewed by fellow scientists instead of just an editor or editorial board.

If the UW-Madison study received the scrutiny it deserved, here’s what we would have learned:

  • The study’s authors mainly used data from an outdated U.S.

Read more >

5 takeaways from Gov. Dayton's public meetings on buffers

Governor Mark Dayton visited Worthington and Austin on Thursday to hear feedback from farmers and local leaders on his proposal to require 50-foot buffer strips along all Minnesota waterways.

About 400 people packed both meeting rooms to weigh in on the issue. If you weren’t able to attend, here are five takeaways from the meetings:

1. Farmers want partnership. Comment after comment from farmers and other stakeholders wondered why the governor didn’t invite farmers to the table to discuss possible solutions before revealing his buffer proposal at a pheasant summit in the Twin Cities in January.

Read more >

Gov. Dayton to host public meetings on buffer strip proposal

Gov. Mark Dayton will host public meetings on Thursday, April 2, in Worthington and Austin to discuss his buffer strip proposal.

If you’re a farmer and would like to make your voice heard on the governor’s proposal to require 50-foot buffers on all waterways, this is your chance.

Here are details for each meeting:

EVENT 1: WORTHINGTON

WHO:
Governor Mark Dayton
Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson
Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr
Local leaders
Area residents

WHAT:
Public meeting to discuss Governor Dayton’s proposed initiative to improve Minnesota water quality and animal habitat through the use of buffer strips

WHEN:
Thursday,

Read more >

Minnesota Corn welcomes new research director

As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting innovative research with a focus on agriculture, environmental stewardship and biofuels, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) recently announced the hiring of Dr. Paul Meints to serve as the organization’s Research Director.

Meints will oversee a farmer-funded research portfolio totaling $4 million annually that supports projects at institutions such as the University of Minnesota, as well as on-farm initiatives such as Discovery Farms Minnesota.

Read more >