Category: Innovation

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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Dietitian responds to anti-GMO story in Rochester Post Bulletin

The Rochester Post Bulletin had a story in its March 3 edition that contained several nuggets of misinformation about biotechnology and genetically modified foods (GMOs) from the story’s subject, Jeff Litterell. A few examples:

  • According to Littrell, those genetic changes in foods make them less nutritious and can lead to illnesses in people who consume them.
  • There are no studies over 90 days that show the safety of GMOs.

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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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The pros and cons of pre-plant, sidedress or split-applying nitrogen

Dr. Fabian Fernandez. a nutrient management and water quality specialist at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil, Water and Climate spoke to more than 450 farmers and ag professionals at the 5th annual Minnesota Crop Nutrient Management conference on Tuesday in Mankato.

During his presentation, Fernandez offered insight into the pros and cons of pre-plant, sidedress and split applications of nitrogen (N).

Pre-plant
As long as Mother Nature cooperates,

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Record attendance at the Minnesota Crop Nutrient Management Conference

Are you looking to buy a new SPAD chlorophyll meter? Are you wondering if you should sidedress apply N? Are nitrogen fertilizer management plans part of your daily reading?

Then you would have fit right in at the 5th annual Crop Nutrient Management Conference in Mankato on Tuesday. And if you’re not sure what a SPAD chlorophyll meter is and have never picked up a nitrogen fertilizer management plan, you still would have fit right in.

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Information on corn, soybeans added to small grains update meetings in Northwest Minnesota

Blizzards, road closures, winter storms and wind chill warnings didn’t stop more than 400 farmers in Northwest Minnesota from attending a series of Small Grains Update meetings in mid-January. Minnesota grower associations representing corn, soybean and wheat braved the tricky roads and icy conditions to meet with growers at eight locations over four days to cover many important topics.

The meetings were held in conjunction with local crop improvement meetings and county soybean and corn grower association annual meetings.

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University of Minnesota study shows reduced-fat distillers performs on par with full-fat product

The removal of oil from distillers grains, as another way to add revenue to ethanol production, has become near universal in the ethanol industry.

The change has raised questions about the impact on the distillers grains product for beef producers — the main consumers of distillers grains. Researchers with the University of Minnesota Beef Team have stepped up to look at the question and have found solid evidence that reduced-fat distillers grains perform just as well in terms of weight gain and other performance indicators.

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Cover crops get some northern exposure

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and University of Minnesota Extension recently hosted a field day at a 12-acre plot with different varieties of cover crops sown into corn and soybean fields near Roscoe, Minn. About 50 attendees — farmers, conservationists and educators — came on Wednesday, Oct. 30, to hear the experts talk about how cover crops really can work in Minnesota, and how they invigorate soil biology,

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New University of Minnesota professor spotlights nutrient management strategies

With support from Minnesota’s corn farmers, Dr. Fabian Fernandez is the new assistant professor of nutrient management at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil, Water and Climate.

“There is no single silver bullet that will solve all the problems in managing nutrients, but instead we have to use many different strategies to achieve that reduction,” Fernandez said.

The Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council has devoted approximately $1 million through farmer-funded corn check-off dollars to the creation of Fernandez’ position at the U and supporting his research activities.

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