Category: Conservation

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,

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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,

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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.

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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,

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Leading ag researchers on display at MN Ag EXPO

MN Ag EXPO will again be the place to be for an up-close look at some of the most exciting research happening in the state that will shape future farm practices. It is also one of the only opportunities farmers will have to speak with the researchers leading these projects.

Leaders from the University of Minnesota will be on-hand at the Verizon Wireless Center on Jan. 24-25 to chat with farmers and ag professionals about their work.

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Corn farmers’ stories reach millions on National Geographic

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) partnered with National Geographic in the fall to share the stories of America’s corn farmers with a robust national audience. Four farmers, including Minnesota Corn Growers Association board member Bryan Biegler, were featured on NationalGeographic.com and its social channels through November.

Each farmer was provided a large platform to share how innovation and technology has allowed them to become more productive and environmentally responsible. Biegler,

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Innovation Grant Spotlight: Reduced versus traditional tillage

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Throughout the summer we have been highlighting projects from the 2017 Innovation Grant Program, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Through Dec. 15, you can apply to the 2018 Innovation Grant Program here. MCGA will be distributing as much as $300,000 to farmers interested in testing an idea on their farm.

While many farmers are sticking to traditional tilling practices,

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Bringing the farm to University of Minnesota underclassmen

(Lauren Biegler with her husband, Bryan, on their Lake Wilson farm)

Last week nearly 200 University of Minnesota underclassmen attended their introductory nutrition course for a lesson they may not have expected when enrolling in the class. Lauren Biegler, who is a CommonGround Minnesota volunteer, represented the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) by joining others from agriculture on a panel about modern farming.

While the ins and outs of today’s farm operations may not have a clear connection to the education of aspiring dietitians,

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New tillage guide says less is more

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The new Upper Midwest Tillage Guide provides Minnesota and North Dakota farmers with a resource for considering the right amount of tillage for their operation and which implements will help the farmer achieve new tillage goals.

The guide looks at the history of tillage before going into the benefits of reduced tillage and how to employ these strategies. Its authors are Jodi DeJong-Hughes,

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Major soil health research project revealed for World Soil Day

To celebrate World Soil Day, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) announced a project that will accelerate the adoption of soil health practices on farms by creating standardized measurements that show the benefits of soil health management.

The Nature Conservancy, Soil Health Institute and Soil Health Partnership received a $9.4 million grant from FFAR and matching funds from a number of companies and private donors. With the $20 million in funding,

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