Category: Policy

Buffer near Montevideo, MN

Following the ag community’s response, BWSR says proposed buffer penalties a mistake

Last week the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) released a proposed amendment to the Administrative Penalty Order (APO) plan for Minnesota Buffer Law implementation that would allow counties and watershed districts to assess penalties up to $500 per linear foot out of compliance with the law. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association released a statement calling the proposed amendment beyond excessive and highly unreasonable.

To follow-up its statement, MCGA issued a letter to BWSR Buffers and Soil Loss Operations Supervisor Tom Gile that outlined major concerns with both the amendment and the procedure through which the amendment was proposed.

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Buffer Alternative Practices

MCGA: Proposed buffer law penalties for noncompliance are beyond excessive

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) introduced a proposed amendment to the Administrative Penalty Order plan for Buffer Law implementation that would allow counties and watershed districts to assess penalties based on linear feet of non-compliant water body frontage. Posted on the BWSR website on April 2, comments are being requested on the proposed amendment through April 16.

Counties and watershed districts charged with enforcement of the Buffer Law would be able to choose if they would adopt this amended option for the Administrative Penalty Order.

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MN State Capitol

Legislative Update: Lawmakers take action on key bills before break

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

The Minnesota Legislature starts a 10-day Easter/Passover break today and will be back in session on Monday, April 9. The last couple of weeks have been busy in St. Paul as lawmakers worked to meet policy committee deadlines before heading back to their districts for the break. Here is a quick recap of where things stand on Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) legislative priorities and other policies important to agriculture.

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MN Capitol

Legislative Update: MCGA’s day at the capitol, Nitrogen Rule movement and more

It is hard to believe we are wrapping up the fourth week of the Minnesota Legislative Session and action in St. Paul has really heated up. Next week, March 22, is the first committee deadline, which are set to narrow the list of bills to be considered by the legislature during the session.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) had a busy week advocating on behalf of our members. We had our annual day at the capitol and provided testimony before the House Agriculture Policy committee on the proposed nitrogen fertilizer rule from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

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MCGA requests Gov. Dayton immediately release the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, issues membership call to action

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) submitted a letter to Governor Mark Dayton this morning advocating for the immediate release of both the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule and detailed GIS maps, followed by a 90-day comment period.

MCGA President Kirby Hettver testified in front of the Minnesota House Agriculture Policy Committee this morning and reiterated these requests, as well as Minnesota corn farmers’ continued commitment to sustainability and best management practices. Coinciding with MCGA’s letter to the Governor and President Hettver’s testimony earlier today,

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MDA unveils an updated map and timeline for the Nitrogen Rule

Governor Mark Dayton and Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson held a press conference Tuesday outlining changes the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) intends to make to the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule. News from the meeting includes an updated map and updated timeline.

The updated map, which you can see here, has been significantly revised with less coverage of areas identified as vulnerable to fall application. For example, northwestern Minnesota was provided a climate exemption due to the low soil temperatures when fall nitrogen would normally be applied in the region.

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State’s corn growers invest in nitrogen management

Minnesota’s corn growers are investing in research and education to reduce nitrate loss as part of their mission to become the most environmentally responsible and sustainable corn farmers in the nation. Since 2014, corn farmers have invested nearly $6 million of their own funds through the corn check-off in education and research that improves nitrogen management strategies.

Through farmers’ corn check-off investment, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is working with leading researchers to develop best management practices that protect Minnesota’s drinking water while maintaining productive farm operations.

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Potential changes to RFS harm nation’s corn growers

Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue (right) speaks with corn farmers at Commodity Classic


Reports are now surfacing that a meeting will take place Monday to negotiate potential changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It is expected the meeting will include both supporters of the ethanol and the oil industry, including lawmakers and executives from each.

Potential outcomes from this meeting may include devastating changes to the RFS that would greatly impact the nation’s corn growers,

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Take action now: Help protect the RFS

President Trump vowed to protect hard-working farmers and homegrown fuels like ethanol. But Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his home-state oil refiners want President Trump to betray that promise, just to boost surging profits for a few oil refiners.

After yesterday’s meeting at the White House, Cruz claims the administration is now “close” to accepting oil-backed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs); changes that would significantly threaten corn farmers in Minnesota and across the country.

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Setting the stage for profitability: Political engagement

By investing in the Minnesota corn check-off, our state’s corn farmers are setting the stage for profitability. While low commodity prices are a point of stress, allocating resources to improving the areas we can control is more important than ever. Over the coming weeks, we will be highlighting how your investment is doing just that.

The legislative session is underway, as policy makers convene in St.

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