Category: Innovation

Farmer demonstrates benefits of stewardship practices

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

John and Jewell Peterson, and their kids Nate, Nic and Natasha, all enthusiastically joined the Minnesota Discovery Farms program six years ago. The family produces corn and soybeans in North Branch and for decades they have worked hard to conserve soil and prevent nutrients from running into the St. Croix River watershed.

“The data shows we are doing a pretty good job with the no-till,” says John Peterson.

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Minnesota Corn will be well-represented at Farmfest 2016

FamFest 2016The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) will once again have a strong presence at Farmfest 2016, which will be held next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Gillfillan Estate, near Morgan.

Visitors can stop by the MCGA tent on the corner of Seed Road and Seventh Street to renew their association membership (or become a new member), learn more about MCGA’s 2016 Innovation Grant recipients, ask questions about the MCGA-sponsored Nitrogen Smart program,

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Conservation Innovation at its finest

Written by Nicole Krumrie, MCGA intern

When some people think of scientists, they think of someone wearing goggles and a white lab coat. When some think about a farmer, they tend to think of an older man wearing jean coveralls and a straw hat with a piece of hay hanging out of his mouth.

What many don’t consider is that a farmer is a scientist in their field every day.  

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Corn Views: Farmers are taking leadership role on water quality issue

Written by Noah Hultgren
Minnesota Corn Growers Association President

A statewide editorial that appeared in ECM publications the week of June 24 called on agriculture to take the lead on managing pollutants. As farmers, we’re always working to improve how we grow food, feed, fiber and fuel for an increasing world population.

And when it comes to the important issue of water quality and managing pollutants, farmers are already playing an important leadership role.

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What I learned from an organic farmer

Written by Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke, Minnesota Corn Growers Association intern

Organic farming gets a lot of attention, both good and bad. As someone who comes from a traditional farming background with genetically modified crops and pesticides, I am usually quick on the defensive when it comes to a discussion around organics.

My eyes were opened by Carolyn Olson and Emily Zweber at the CommonGround volunteer training on June 24, at the Minnesota Corn office in Shakopee.

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A Crystal Ball? U of M researcher looking at climate change and the impact on corn

IMG_1460“Climate change increasingly poses one of the biggest long-term threats to investments.”  

— Christiana Figueres (Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

The battle with climate change comes with a battle with uncontrollable, unpredictable weather. University of Minnesota’s Dr. Tim Griffis is looking at giving farmers a head start.

“Nobody can know the future,” Griffis said, “But we need the best data and models possible for making informed decisions about the future.”

Funded partly by the Minnesota Corn Research  &

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Innovation on display at Minnesota 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge

The next generation of agricultural innovators were on full display at last week’s Minnesota 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge.

A total of 14 teams participated in this year’s Challenge, which is a first-of-its-kind program created by the University of Minnesota Extension that encourages teams of youth to develop solutions to common problems facing today’s farmers. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association is a proud supporter of the Challenge.

First place went to The Hot Shots from Dakota County for a project titled “Infiniheat.”

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Water-conscious farm family showcases controlled tile drainage as a conservation method

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Jared Nordick, 38, rented his first 65 acres from a neighbor when he was 15 years old. Right from the get-go, he practiced land stewardship side by side with his father Gerald, who learned how to care for the land from his dad.

The father-son team planted trees for a shelter belt to reduce wind erosion and tended to buffers and grass waterways. Nordick was among the first farmers certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Water Quality Certification Program.

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In The Land of 10,000 Lakes, farmers support clean water solutions

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Kim Gorans , his dad, uncles, brother-in-law and cousins — 11 family members in all — work together raising turkeys and corn on their farm just south of Willmar. They are striving to make their land produce bountiful food and clean water.

Since 2006, Gorans’ farm site, close to Lake Kandiyohi, has been home to a bioreactor research project. A bioreactor is a filtration system set up at the edge of the farm field to filter tile drainage water.

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Your typical corn, beans…and grapes farm

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

When Jon Roisen gave up his farrow/feed hog operation around the turn of the 21st century, he felt a bit of a void. He and his son Aaron were leafing through an AURI publication celebrating the relatively new cold-hardy wine grape variety, pioneered by University of Minnesota, called Frontenac.

They looked at each other and said yes to wine grapes.

Aaron went to New Zealand to learn oenology and the art of being a vintner,

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