Category: Policy

Green Star Farms Initiative: Benchmarking and Accelerating On-Farm Best Management Practices

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The land that brothers Nathan and Sean Collins farm in Murdock, Minn., has been in production for 150 years. They are the fourth generation of farmers in the Collins family.

According to Nathan, the thriving of that land — as healthy and productive as its ever been — and the thriving of the Collins family goes hand in hand.

That’s why he jumped at the opportunity to join the Green Star Farms Initiative,

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Blame McDonald's — not Ethanol — for Increasing Chicken Prices

chartWell, don’t “blame” McDonald’s, that’s a little harsh. It’s a good thing for agriculture that McDonald’s is buying more chicken from farmers to meet demand for a new menu item. Bravo!

But this story from Bloomberg Businessweek about how McDonald’s may be influencing chicken prices as it prepares to add chicken wings to its menu is important for poultry farmers to read for this reason: There are many factors that influence food prices.

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Klobuchar and Grassley Letter asks for Investigation of Big Oil

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter this week asking the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate possible anti-competitive practices by oil companies that may be limiting consumer access to renewable fuels like ethanol.

“By forcing a franchisee to carry premium gasoline as a condition of carrying regular gas, the oil company may be using its economic power over its franchisee to effect a tying arrangement in violation of the Sherman Act,” the two senators wrote in the letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FTC Chairwoman Edit Ramirez .

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Let's Help the Poultry Industry Better Understand Ethanol and the Renewable Fuels Standard

For some reason, our fellow farmers in the poultry industry still do not understand the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and ethanol.

Maybe they’ll get it if corn farmers contact them directly.

This recent commentary in the Star Tribune, penned by a turkey and a chicken producer, attacked the RFS and called on Congress to reduce the ethanol blend rate. The piece also blamed ethanol for increased food and feed costs by making the same old tired and dated food vs.

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"Uniting" a Major Theme at 2013 Minnesota Agriculture Leadership Conference

As the number of people in farm circles gets smaller, it’s more important than ever before for agriculture groups to become more united in their efforts to shape sensible farm policy and fend off attacks on issues like biotechnology, ethanol and the environment.

“Uniting” was a major theme of the 2013 Minnesota Agriculture Leadership Conference earlier this week in Brainerd. More than 160 farmers, policy makers, business leaders and elected officials addressed issues related to agriculture,

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RMA Administrator Talks Crop Insurance at Minnesota Ag Leadership Conference

What if farmers didn’t have the option to purchase crop insurance and instead had to wait for congress to pass an ad-hoc disaster bill if a weather-related event led to significant crop loss? Would the same congress that can’t pass a farm bill and sent us over the fiscal cliff act quickly enough — or at all — to assist farmers?

Thankfully, farmers are able to invest in their own protection and overcome weather events such as last year’s drought in the Midwest or this year’s wet Minnesota spring.

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Corn Views: Machinery Repair Tax Hurts Farmers, Rural Minnesota

Tom HaagBy Tom Haag, Minnesota Corn Growers Association President

During a news conference on July 8, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton said dumping the new tax on farm machinery repair would be his first priority, if the economy allows.

Minnesota’s corn farmers thank the Governor for recognizing the impact of this tax and hope this will top his agenda when the legislature reconvenes in February. Actually, the gratitude would extend beyond just farmers.

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Everything you Need to Know about MCGA at Farmfest 2013

The farm bill, renewable energy and a new tax on machinery repair were three topics that generated buzz at Farmfest 2013, which started on Tuesday and wrapped up on Thursday this week in Morgan.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) was once again well represented at the event. Corn farmers, MCGA partners and MCGA staff conducted 41 interviews with a variety of media outlets over the three-day event. Topics ranged from the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and surging ethanol sales to farmer-led water quality initiatives and research projects.

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Update on the Farm Bill as MCGA Heads to Farmfest

Minnesota Corn Growers Association staff is heading to Farmfest Monday morning. Representatives Collin Peterson and Tim Walz are scheduled to appear, and will likely provide an update on the chances of a new farm bill passing by Sept. 30, when the current legislation expires.

We will do our best to update MinnesotaCORNerstone.com while at Farmfest with the latest from Minnesota’s largest annual farm show. Meantime, here are some recent news stories about the status of the new farm bill and its chances of passing when Congress reconvenes in late this summer.

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