Category: Conservation

Should voluntary water regulations for farmers be made mandatory?

Minnesota Public Radio asked visitors to its website this week if voluntary water regulations for farmers should be made mandatory. So far the response to the question in the comments section doesn’t appear to contain many farmer viewpoints.

If you farm, and you have an opinion on the topic, don’t be afraid to share your perspective. Perhaps you could let people know how Minnesota’s corn farmers use their own money through a voluntary check-off program to fund more than $4 million in new and ongoing research efforts annually,

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Energy Balance? The scale tips heavily in ethanol's favor

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The secret to ethanol’s phenomenal energy return — 2.34 BTUs out for every 1 BTU of fossil energy input — begins with the corn plant’s excellence as a solar capture medium, says Randall Doyal, CEO of Al-Corn Energy in Claremont, Minn.

“What people don’t understand is that we are not creating new energy when we make ethanol. We’re capturing solar energy,” Doyal said. “There are always people who want to tell you how great voltaics and other solar energy capture devices are,

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Big Oil's ultimate goal: Get rid of the RFS

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed slashing the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and lowering 2014 ethanol blending targets by 1.4 billion gallons last Friday.

Of course, Big Oil companies and their allies praised the proposal. Even though the EPA’s decision is a step backward for American consumers, it’s a major step forward for the oil industry as it strives to strengthen its monopoly on the transportation fuels market.

Oil companies smell blood in the water.

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Associated Press story plows under the facts about ethanol

Do you enjoy writing filled with hyperbole? How about “reporting” that cites long-dispelled myths as fact and uses professional talking heads as sources? Is lazy journalism that aims to manufacture controversy (think Skip Bayless at ESPN or one of the many loudmouths that pollute the talk radio airwaves) your thing?

Then an upcoming story from the Associated Press (AP) about so-called “dirty” ethanol is right up your alley. The story is embargoed until Nov.

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Never read the comments (especially when the topic is ethanol)

Those who venture into the comments section of a newspaper website rarely emerge unscathed. Newspaper comments sections are a jungle of misinformation, nastiness, name-calling and anonymous people behind a keyboard who know very little and pretend (often angrily) that they know a lot.

All of that is ratcheted up by a factor of 10 when you wade into the comments section of a story about ethanol. There’s a reason we should all live by the following motto: Never read the comments.

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Corn farmers help bring E15 and E30 to Minnesota

It’s official: E15 and E30 are now available in Minnesota, giving drivers more choices beyond regular gasoline when it’s time to fuel their vehicles.

With TV cameras rolling and a steady stream of customers pulling in to fill up their tanks at Penn Minnoco off Penn Ave. in south Minneapolis, the ribbon was cut Wednesday morning on four new flex fuel pumps that dispense E15 (a blend of 15 percent ethanol, 5 percent more than what is blended in all Minnesota unleaded gasoline),

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Minnesota Biofuels Month: Video addresses myths about ethanol

We’re entering the final week of Biofuels Month here in Minnesota. If you are not doing so already, be sure to like the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Facebook page and follow MCGA on Twitter for daily factoids and tidbits about clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol.

While perusing social media today, I came across the below video about ethanol and the myths that surround it. The video is well worth your time.

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Helping farmers navigate the latest conservation-related reports, programs, strategies and initiatives

FarmKeeping up with the latest reports, studies, regulations, programs and initiatives related to conservation can sometimes make a farmer’s head spin.

Over the last couple of months, several reports have been released and strategies proposed by various agencies and organizations that aim to improve Minnesota’s water quality and enhance on-farm conservation efforts. These reports total almost 1,000 pages, span dozens of websites, involve multiple organizations and encompass several government programs and non-governmental initiatives.

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Governor Dayton: October is Biofuels Month in Minnesota

What does trick-or-treating, leaves changing colors, the World Series, the start of the NHL season and Biofuels Month have in common? They’re all happening this October.

Governor Mark Dayton has declared October Biofuels Month in Minnesota. It’s an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the important role biofuels such as clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol play in building Minnesota’s economy and reducing our impact on the environment and the air we breathe.

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MDA wraps up N management plan listening sessions

Plan would create phased response to nitrates in groundwater, with a potential for regulatory action

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Six listening sessions have not turned up any earth-shaking critical comments about the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) proposed Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan, according to MDA officials. The comment period continues until Nov. 1, at which point Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson will consider the comments and publish the final version of the plan.

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