Category: Innovation

Discovery Farms Minnesota helps farmers protect water quality and soil fertility

A green rectangular box with a solar panel on top and weather instruments jutting into the air sits at t the edge of Doug Hager’s field south of Mankato.

There’s a flume on the ground to the left, and beyond that is another green box, a trail camera and rain gauge.

The setup looks mysterious, but all that equipment is helping Minnesota farmers protect water quality and soil fertility. Hager’s farm is one of 11 Minnesota Discovery Farms,

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New publication highlights research funded by Minnesota corn farmers

Minnesota’s corn farmers are always working to improve the way they grow food, feed, fiber and fuel for an increasing world population while protecting water quality and soil fertility. They also strive to find new uses for corn and expand the use of homegrown and renewable ethanol fuels.

That’s why Minnesota’s corn farmers are committed to supporting science-based research projects and initiatives. A new publication from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and Minnesota Corn Research &

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Minnesota Corn names Adam Birr Executive Director

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC) has named Adam Birr, Ph.D., Executive Director of both organizations.

As executive director of MCGA, Birr will lead an organization that is more than 7,100 members strong and represents the interests of Minnesota’s 25,000 corn farmers. His leadership of MCR&PC will involve oversight of the efficient and effective administration of Minnesota’s corn check-off.

Birr has served as MCGA’s Research Director since March of 2013 and will begin as Executive Director on Oct.

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Roots of MCGA can be traced back to local Corn Economics Group

What started as a “Corn Economics Group” in the late 1960s helped create the now 6,900-member strong Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA).

In 1967, St. James farmer Leroy Leinenweber won a national corn yield contest. The agronomist he worked with at Northrup-King seed company asked Leroy if he’d be willing to talk to other farmers about some of the practices he implemented to boost his yields.

Leroy loved talking farming, so he and another half-dozen other forward-looking farmers gathered at a local watering hole near St.

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University of Minnesota Extension: Working with corn farmers for more than 100 years

One-hundred years ago today, Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act, which allocated funding for outreach activities to expand vocational, agricultural, and home demonstration programs in rural America at Land Grant Universities throughout the United States. Today we know this federal, state and county initiative as Extension.

Minnesota was actually ahead of the rest of the country when it started Extension services in 1909, before the Smith-Lever Act was passed. Today,

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Corn-fed research: New publication highlights corn farmers' support for beef initiatives

Yes, it’s called the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, but its investments and support provide a boost for all of agriculture.

Minnesota’s corn farmers have invested nearly $3 million in research and programs that improve and support the production of beef livestock. These investments are highlighted by MCGA in a new publication titled “Minnesota Corn Growers Association Beef Initiatives.”

“Cattle farmers are one of our largest customers,”

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Cover Crop Symposium reaches out to crop advisory professionals

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Many cover crop events focus, naturally, on the farmer. The April 4 Cover Crop Symposium held in St. Cloud shifted the focus to crop advisory personnel, because, in order to make cover crops a workable solution, crop advisers have to have an interactive relationship with the academic research community to assure that cover cropping systems beneficial to farmers become widely available.

Keynote speaker Prof.

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Out of thin air: Using wind energy to make fertilizer

Did you know it’s possible to use wind energy to make fertilizer? And did you know that it’s being done right here in Minnesota, at the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research & Outreach Center (WCROC) in Morris?

I didn’t know any of this, but was curious to learn more, so I visited the WCROC to a get a firsthand look at this innovative project. Mike Reese, WCROC’s director of renewable energy,

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Four years later, Discovery Farms Minnesota is going strong

In just four short years, Minnesota Discovery Farms has come a long way.

“The program has really taken off. We’ve established a working network from the southeast corner of Minnesota all the way up to the far northwest,” said Warren Formo, executive director of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center.

Discovery Farms is a farmer-led effort to gather field scale water quality information from different types of farming systems in landscapes throughout Minnesota.

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Minnesota Corn Growers Highlight Investments to Protect Surface and Groundwater

A new publication from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) highlights initiatives corn farmers have supported to protect surface and groundwaters from nitrogen loss. Initiatives include third-party research, innovative on-farm programs and people with an expertise in research and education.

The “Minnesota Corn Growers Association Nitrogen Initiatives” publication can be viewed here. Overall, MCGA invests about $2 million annually in projects that address corn production and water quality.

“Corn farmers grow the food,

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