Category: Conservation

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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University of Minnesota Extension Soil Compaction Field Day Videos

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association sponsored a Soil Compaction Field Day in conjunction with the University of Minnesota some time ago. The University’s Extension service recently created the below four videos from the field day:

Factors contributing to soil compaction

Soil structure: A natural defense against soil contraction

Managing vehicle traffic to reduce compaction

How to make your tires perform at their best

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Food and Farming Panel Sparks Debate, Shows Complexity of Agriculture Issues

What happens when a college in the heart of Minnesota’s Iron Range holds a panel discussion on food, farming and agriculture policy?

I was curious, so I made the drive up to Itasca Community College (ICC) in Grand Rapids to listen to a panel titled “The Present and Future of Agriculture: The Benefits and Costs of Current Agricultural Policy.”

It began as a typical college campus panel discussion. Facts were recited.

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Farm Tour Highlights Nitrate Reduction Strategies

Two research locations in the coarse-textured soils of Central Minnesota highlight the sensitivity of the region to groundwater impacts, but also show how eager farmers are to come up with solutions that reduce the presence of nitrate-nitrogen below very stringent levels.

The Clean Water Fund generated by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment sales tax approved by Minnesota voters presents a number of opportunities to protect or remediate groundwater resources impacted by surface runoff.

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Minnesota Farmers are top users of USDA Conservation Program

More farmers in Minnesota than any other state have used a voluntary USDA program that aims to improve, maintain and expand on-farm conservation practices.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and encourages farmers to take measurable steps to improve soil, water quality, wildlife habitat and other conservation efforts.

Since the CSP program began in 2009, nearly 2 million acres of Minnesota farmland has been enrolled.

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Green Star Farms Initiative: Benchmarking and Accelerating On-Farm Best Management Practices

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The land that brothers Nathan and Sean Collins farm in Murdock, Minn., has been in production for 150 years. They are the fourth generation of farmers in the Collins family.

According to Nathan, the thriving of that land — as healthy and productive as its ever been — and the thriving of the Collins family goes hand in hand.

That’s why he jumped at the opportunity to join the Green Star Farms Initiative,

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