Category: Policy

This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

I spent a portion of last week in Washington D.C. with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President, 1st Vice President, Government Relations Chair and Executive Director. We had productive meetings with Minnesota’s congressional delegation, as well as with leadership from USDA, Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Risk Management Agency (RMA).

Back in Minnesota, business continued during the Minnesota legislative session. The legislature is on break through April 6, so things have quieted down a bit after another busy week.

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Corn Views: Farmers are losing the public perception battle

Northfield farmer and Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Bruce Peterson wrote a new “Corn Views” column this week that focused on Gov. Dayton’s proposed buffer strip legislation and the importance of farmers telling their own conservation story.

Peterson wrote that MCGA strongly supports the use of buffer strips, but opposes a portion of the governor’s legislation that calls for a one-size-fits-all 50-foot buffer requirement. Peterson writes:

Agricultural research shows that a one-size-fits all buffer solution is not the most effective or efficient strategy for improving water quality.

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Statement from Northfield farmer and MCGA President Bruce Peterson on buffer strip legislation

The following is a statement from Bruce Peterson, a farmer in Northfield and President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, on legislation introduced this week that would require farmers to use 50-foot buffer strips along waterways:

“The Minnesota Corn Growers Association supports the use of buffers as one of the many best management practices farmers use to protect water quality. We also support existing buffer laws and their vigorous local enforcement,

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This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Public Policy Director

Last week was a busy one in the Minnesota legislature for ag water quality legislation. There’s more ag water quality legislation on tap this week in both of the House and the Senate.

All the ag-related happenings from last week and the ag-related happenings that might go down this week are included below in this week’s update. Also included is a call to action on important ag research legislation:

  • Look for Rep.

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Commodity Classic lives up to its billing as “America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show.”

written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Almost 8,000 farmers attended Commodity Classic on February 26-28 in Phoenix, organized by the National Corn Growers Association, as well as national soybean, wheat and sorghum associations. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed attendees at this not-to-be-missed event on the American farmer’s calendar. He spoke about upcoming trade agreements with Asia and Pacific Rim countries, and also announced a one-time extension for farmers to update base acres and yield data.

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This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Public Policy Director

I’m back after spending the last week in Washington D.C. and Phoenix on a very interesting MARL trip and another productive Commodity Classic, respectively.

While I was away, the Minnesota legislature learned that the budget surplus is now projected to be $1.89 billion, an increase of $832 million over the November forecast. That’s certainly good news as the March 20 first committee deadline approaches.

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USDA extends deadline to update base acres or yield history and other news from Commodity Classic

The 20th annual Commodity Classic is underway in Phoenix and several Minnesota Corn Growers Association grower-leaders are in attendance. Here is a quick summary of some of the corn-centric news to come out of Classic so far:

  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will provide a one-time extension to farmers for the new safety-net programs (known as ARC and PLC) established in the 2014 farm bill. The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended from Feb.

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MCGA Radio: Bruce Peterson from Commodity Classic

Several Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) farmer-leaders are in Phoenix this week for the 20th annual Commodity Classic, one of the largest gatherings of farmers, agribusiness and ag policy leaders that takes place during the year.

Commodity Classic is also where the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) sets its policy and priority goals for the upcoming year. Since MCGA is one of the largest grassroots ag organizations in the entire country,

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This week's ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Public Policy Director

Gov. Dayton’s proposed pay raises for his commissioners gobbled up most of the media coverage this week at the Minnesota state capitol (never change, Minnesota politics!). But there were still plenty of ag-related happenings, including a legislative water commission meeting, an agricultural sector meeting with the DNR and legislative visits involving Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) farmer-leaders.

Here is this week’s legislative recap:

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This week's ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

This week’s ag-focused update from the Minnesota state capitol features information on Gov. Dayton’s budget, wolves, irrigation, the Keystone XL pipeline, ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Let’s get right to it:

  • When Gov. Dayton released his budget last week, I dived right in to pull out all the tidbits that would be of interest to farmers, but might fly under the radar in mainstream media coverage. I still have more reading to do and people to talk to,

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