Category: Innovation

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.

Read more >

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  &

Read more >

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.”

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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,

Read more >

Legislative Update: What farmers need to know about the recently completed session

Written by Anna Boroff, Public Policy Director for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Another Minnesota legislative session has come and gone. Like other recent sessions, this one featured a flurry of activity toward the end, resulting in some bills getting passed, and some left on the table unfinished.

Let’s take a quick look at some key items from this legislative session that Minnesota corn farmers should be aware of:

Property tax relief
The No.

Read more >

Farmer works to protect water quality by turning something old into something new

 

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Lee Thompson, 52, has made gutsy decisions on his farm. He and his brother Rick decided to sell the dairy herd four years ago.

He’s also made some easy decisions. Since he started working with his son-in-law Dan Coffman as his agronomist three years ago, Lee has tried lots of small experiments, incremental changes, to try to improve yield and return on the farm in Nicollet,

Read more >

Fueling the truth: Taking down ethanol haters myth by misguided myth

If you have a friend who remains skeptical about ethanol’s air quality benefits, or you know a local mechanic who clings to the belief that ethanol damages engines, you’ll want to send them to FuelingTheTruth.com.

The new website from the Urban Air Initiative cuts through all the myths, misinformation and confusion put out there by ethanol’s critics and gets right down to the facts.

You want videos?

Read more >

Grant helps farmers use innovative irrigation system to reduce nutrient loss

MCGA.2013-0089Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

When Chad Davison, 34, came home to the farm from a business career at Target Corporation he brought with him a love of logistics and technological innovation — he had most recently managed the shelf inventory of brand name coffee at all the Targets in North America.

His dad made the family farm run on hard-won agronomic know-how.

Where the two overlapped was in a love of land stewardship and the rewards precision agriculture can offer — especially in a 4,500 acre row-crop farm in the Red River Valley town of Tintah,

Read more >