Category: Policy

Legislative Update: Section 179, Buffer Tax Credit and more hit home stretch

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior public policy director

It sounds like planters are finally starting to roll in most areas of Minnesota. While you are busy in the field, lawmakers are busy in St. Paul trying to finalize a long to-do list during the last two weeks of session.

Taxes

Last week the Senate worked on their tax bill by giving an overview in the taxes committee,

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2018 farm bill off to a rocky, but not unprecedented start

It is expected the U.S. House of Representatives will soon approve its version of the 2018 farm bill, cuing up Senate Committee consideration the last week before the Memorial Day recess and full U.S. Senate action in June.

Of course, the best laid plans can (and do) go awry.

The House is moving a farm bill that largely reflects current law, with some improvements to Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC),

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MCGA Leadership: Stop spreading myths about the Groundwater Protection Rule

Last week, the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule was finally released for farmers to review and comment. While the rule has only recently been the focus of disdain from some in Minnesota agriculture, it has been in the making for nearly 30 years with significant input from agricultural organizations along the way.

Suffice to say, the Groundwater Protection Rule is not going away.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has been involved with the development of the rule,

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MDA releases proposed Groundwater Protection Rule

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule – previously referred to as the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule – this morning. The proposed rule, the statement of need and reasonableness, appendixes for the statement of need and reasonableness and the notice of public hearings in July are all listed on the MDA website, which can be viewed here.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and its grower leaders will be carefully reviewing the more than 400 pages of documents over the coming days.

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2017 Minnesota Session

Legislative Update: Important bills move to the floor

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior public policy director

It was a flurry of activity this week in St. Paul as legislators put in long hours to assemble supplemental finance bills for committees with jurisdiction over different parts of the state budget.

The finance bills being put forward by different committees also contain various changes to existing law and new policy proposals. Since the Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton finalized a two-year state budget during the 2017 legislative session,

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Buffers in eastern MN

Gov. Dayton states support for tax relief for ag land converted to buffers

Governor Mark Dayton announced his support today for a bill that was a top priority for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) during the 2018 legislative session. The bipartisan legislation would provide farmers with a $50 per acre tax credit for farmland no longer in production due to the Minnesota Buffer Law, eliminating the financial penalty of continuing to impose property taxes at the highest rates on farm land that is converted to buffers.

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MDA responds to MCGA’s call for the release of the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule

Last month, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) sent a letter to Governor Mark Dayton requesting the immediate release of both the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule and detailed GIS maps, followed by a 90-day comment period. Recently, MCGA received an official response to its requests from Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Commissioner Dave Frederickson.

In the letter, Commissioner Frederickson stated the draft Nitrogen Rule has not yet been released because the language and accompanying Statement of Need and Reasonableness are still being drafted,

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The historical timeline of the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule

The Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule has become a hotly debated topic during the 2018 legislative session. With that, there have been many inaccurate reports circling regarding the draft Rule, particularly how this draft Rule came to be. Below is a detailed timeline of the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, which dates back to 1989.

1989

  • Groundwater Protection Act is passed by Minnesota Legislature and signed into law. Authority for the Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan and the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule is provided through the passing of the Groundwater Protection Act.

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Minnesota’s 1st district candidates visit corn farms

(Sen. Carla Nelson (left) visited the family farm of Brennen Toquam last week as part of MCGA candidate outreach)

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is hosting 2018 candidates for Minnesota’s 1st congressional district on family farms in southern Minnesota. Last week, candidates from both parties visited with MCGA grower leaders in an effort to build a greater understanding of modern farm practices and discuss the federal issues impacting Minnesota’s corn growers.

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Legislative Update: Buffer law, Farm Bill and tax reform have a busy week

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior public policy director

The Minnesota Legislature returned from the Easter/Passover break this week and action picked right back up with only six weeks left in the regular session and a lot of work left to accomplish. It was a very busy week for agriculture—not only in St. Paul, but also Washington D.C. There is a lot to cover, so I will get right to it.

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