Category: Innovation

$1.1 Million grant funds farmer-driven water quality research

Farmers believe that raising food efficiently goes hand in hand with taking good care of the soil and the water.

The farmer-funded Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) has received its first major grant from an outside organization— a $1.1 million grant to fund a project called “Developing Diagnostics to Improve Water Quality and Soil Health on Tile Drained Lands in Minnesota and Wisconsin.” The money comes from USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

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Farmers foster soil health to fight wind erosion

Talking soil health on Bryan Biegler's farm near Lake Wilson.

Talking soil health on Bryan Biegler’s farm near Lake Wilson.

On Thursday, despite rain and the threat of thunder, a group of farmers crowded around a pit dug in the midst of row crops almost ready to harvest. They were eager to hear about techniques to assure the health of the soil on their farms for generations to come.

Two soil experts pointed out the layer-cake quality and texture found in healthy soil.

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MCGA offering conservation innovation grants for the second year

Minnesota corn farmers will once again have the opportunity to put their innovative conservation ideas into action through the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s (MCGA) Innovation Grant Program. Proposals on how to better manage nitrogen, protect water quality, or compare farming measuring tools are being accepted through Dec. 15, 2016.

MCGA, working alongside the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC), is offering a total of $255,000 in Innovation Grants to any Minnesota corn farmer seeking to test or develop an innovative or best practice in the following areas:

  • Nitrate loss reduction
  • Improved nitrogen management practices for Minnesota soils
  • Maintaining or improving water quality
  • Innovative soil conservation practices,

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Taking the kura (clover) cure

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

It seems odd to say that after 10 years, they are still at the early stages of research into kura clover. Used as a perennial cover crop, it offers a promising addition to corn and soybean production systems, but there are still a lot of questions to ask.

Here at the largest of the University of Minnesota Extension Service Outreach and Research Center (4,000 acres-plus),

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Sediment research will help direct farmer stewardship

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Knowing where sediment comes from will ultimately help us devise ways to reduce the amount of sediment that impacts the biological health and recreational value of Minnesota’s waterways.

For the past five years, Patrick Belmont, a watershed scientist from Utah State University, has worked to ‘fingerprint’ the sediment in the Root River Watershed, a system of rivers and streams draining an area the size of Delaware in southeast Minnesota.

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Striking gold, helping farmers test new ideas

Written by Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

When it comes to agricultural research, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has hit a gold mine. Where is this gold mine you may ask? Well, it’s in the brain of every farmer.

While scientists go to school to learn the scientific method and the biological processes they work with, farmers live and breathe agriculture. Farmers have to use their brains every day to come up with solutions to problems and ideas to make their practice better.

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MCGA invites farmers to attend district meetings

MCGAThe Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) will be hosting six District Meetings around the state this fall. These meetings are free and open to all farmers.

The purpose of these meetings is to provide an opportunity for farmers to become better acquainted with recent activities of MCGA, as well as hear about what lies ahead for agriculture in Minnesota. There will also be a question and answer session with state MCGA staff and farmer leaders.

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MCGA wraps up another great year at Farmfest

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Farmfest, the largest outdoor farm show in Minnesota, wrapped up its three-day 2016 show last Thursday. Once again there was a strong presence by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA).

On Tuesday, MCGA sponsored “Ag Innovation Day,” which featured panel discussions, as well as a presentation by Minnesota 4-H student teams. These teams were some of the top finishers in 4-H’s Science of Agriculture challenge.

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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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