Category: Conservation

MCGA requests Gov. Dayton immediately release the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, issues membership call to action

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) submitted a letter to Governor Mark Dayton this morning advocating for the immediate release of both the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule and detailed GIS maps, followed by a 90-day comment period.

MCGA President Kirby Hettver testified in front of the Minnesota House Agriculture Policy Committee this morning and reiterated these requests, as well as Minnesota corn farmers’ continued commitment to sustainability and best management practices. Coinciding with MCGA’s letter to the Governor and President Hettver’s testimony earlier today,

Read more >

Video tells the story of farmers as water quality producers

(Soil scientist Kevin Kuehner checks the edge-of-field monitoring equipment at a site near Bridge Creek in Southeastern Minnesota.)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

A newly released video (see below) shows the efforts by farmers to implement practices that prevent soil and nutrient loss in three small watersheds of southeastern Minnesota’s Root River. The ultimate goal over the decade-plus effort by farmers in the watershed is enhancing the water quality of nearby streams.

Read more >

MDA unveils an updated map and timeline for the Nitrogen Rule

Governor Mark Dayton and Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson held a press conference Tuesday outlining changes the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) intends to make to the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule. News from the meeting includes an updated map and updated timeline.

The updated map, which you can see here, has been significantly revised with less coverage of areas identified as vulnerable to fall application. For example, northwestern Minnesota was provided a climate exemption due to the low soil temperatures when fall nitrogen would normally be applied in the region.

Read more >

State’s corn growers invest in nitrogen management

Minnesota’s corn growers are investing in research and education to reduce nitrate loss as part of their mission to become the most environmentally responsible and sustainable corn farmers in the nation. Since 2014, corn farmers have invested nearly $6 million of their own funds through the corn check-off in education and research that improves nitrogen management strategies.

Through farmers’ corn check-off investment, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is working with leading researchers to develop best management practices that protect Minnesota’s drinking water while maintaining productive farm operations.

Read more >

Finding the ‘just right’ volume of cover crop growth

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

How can farmers get the maximum benefit from cover crops in a corn-soybean operation? One scientist tackled the topic at the Fourth Annual Minnesota Nitrogen Management Conference, held recently in St. Cloud.

Matt Ruark, an associate professor in soil fertility and nutrient management at the University of Wisconsin, has been looking at a number of cover crop species, including winter rye, spring barley and various clovers.

Read more >

Corn farmers invest in best management practices

By investing in the Minnesota corn check-off, our state’s corn farmers are setting the stage for profitability. While low commodity prices are a point of stress, allocating resources to improving the areas we can control is more important than ever. Over the coming weeks, we will be highlighting how your investment is doing just that.

Minnesota’s corn growers are working towards becoming the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn farmers in the nation.

Read more >

Soil Health Summit brings farmers, researchers to Chicago

The 4th Annual Soil Health Summit, presented by the Soil Health Partnership, was held in Chicago last month, bringing together farmers, researchers and more to learn about the latest in land stewardship.

An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a data-driven program working to quantify the benefits of practices that support soil health from an economical and environmental standpoint. Its 2018 Soil Health Summit featured breakout sessions and speakers covering a wide range of soil health topics,

Read more >

draft Nitrogen Rule

2018 Nitrogen Smart dates announced

The 2018 Nitrogen Smart program will kick off Feb. 14 this year with an 11-city tour of educational seminars on nitrogen management. Supported by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, more than 600 farmers have already attended the seminars to learn about the latest research on efficient nitrogen management practices that not only reduce environmental impacts, but also costs for the farmer.

For example, after attending seminars in the first two years of the program,

Read more >

Finding the roadmap to healthy soil

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

On a sunny day early in the growing season, before the corn or soybean crop has had time to spread a canopy, the surface of the bare soil around the plants can reach temperatures upwards of 120 degrees.

“It basically cooks the biology right out of the soil,” said USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) plant physiologist and conservation ag advocate Jerry Hatfield. “But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Read more >

Nitrogen Smart Workshop 2017

Nitrogen Smart seminar attendees realize big savings in fertilizer costs

University of Minnesota Extension has been holding Nitrogen Smart seminars across Minnesota to help farmers become more effective with their use of nitrogen. Supported by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the seminars have been attended by more than 600 people in its first two years, and the feedback suggests it has been well worth their time.

At each seminar, led by Extension Educator Brad Carlson, farmers learn about the latest data and research behind nitrogen application practices that not only reduce environmental impact,

Read more >