Category: Policy

Minnesota Corn Growers focus on taxes, buffers during Day on the Hill

With the legislative session currently in full swing, 22 grower-leaders from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) spent Tuesday, March 15 at the Capitol in St. Paul talking property taxes, buffers and other agriculture issues during MCGA’s Day on the Hill.

“Our top priority this session is property tax relief,” said Raymond farmer and MCGA president Noah Hultgren. “There seems to be bi-partisan support on this issue, so it’s important that we keep reminding legislators how essential tax relief is to both the farm and overall rural economy.”

Resolving the private ditch issue and clarifying other items on the new buffer legislation was also a prominent topic.

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Ethanol Update: The RFS, ethanol's economic impact, oil subsidies and more

It’s been a while since we’ve updated everyone on the happenings in the world of clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol. So, we’ll forgo the chit-chat and get right into the update.

Reform instead of repeal?
It looks like “Big Oil” is shifting it’s strategy from trying to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to reforming it. However, part of those “reforms” include repealing the corn ethanol portion of the RFS.

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Commodity Classic draws largest crowd ever down to the Big Easy

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Better farm prices are right around the corner and farmers, the eternal optimists, want to be ready.

So this year, at Commodity Classic — the annual gathering of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers — for the first time ever included the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, who brought an expanded trade show exhibition.

“You could spend a whole day and not get through it — it was maybe one-third bigger than previous trade shows,

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Legislative session preview: Property taxes, water and transportation top list of agricultural issues

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Senior Public Policy Director

The 2016 Minnesota legislative session began this week and is scheduled to end on May 23. That gives lawmakers about 11 weeks to address everything from tax relief to transportation, water quality to a bonding bill, and probably a few issues that aren’t even on our radar at this time.

Oh, and there’s that $900 million state surplus…

Agriculture issues
Before the sessions kicks into high gear,

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Dismissed by the Pioneer Press: Making farmers' voices heard on water quality

Before last weekend’s water summit hosted by Gov. Mark Dayton, two Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) farmer-leaders submitted guest columns to both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. We thought it was important that farmers were part of the discussion in the days leading up to the summit.

Unfortunately, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press did not agree as both guest columns went unpublished. 

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Ignored by the Star Tribune: 4 steps toward improving water quality

Before last weekend’s water summit hosted by Gov. Mark Dayton, two Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) farmer-leaders submitted guest columns to both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. We thought it was important that farmers were part of the discussion in the days leading up to the summit.

Unfortunately, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press did not agree as both guest columns went unpublished. 

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Governor’s Water Summit: Can state’s water challenges be made into economic opportunities?

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The ballroom at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul filled to overflowing on Saturday with an estimated 800 stakeholders all gathered to draw up the outlines of an action plan for restoring and protecting Minnesota’s waters.

A strong representation of farmers and agribusiness attended the meeting — 17 grower leaders from Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA), joined by representatives of Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union and other agricultural groups — all there to describe the work farmers have put into improving water quality,

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Summarizing news coverage of Gov. Dayton's water summit

We’ll have several more posts throughout this week covering Gov. Dayton’s water summit, which took place on Saturday in St. Paul. For now, here’s a quick summary of the news coverage of the event.

  • Right off the bat, anti-pipeline protesters interrupted the governor’s opening remarks during the summit. The stunt ended up hijacking the headlines in many media accounts of the summit.
  • Once the protesters left the stage,

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Myth vs. Fact on farming, nitrogen, buffers and water quality

Myth: Farmers apply too much nitrogen on crop land.

Fact: University of Minnesota Best Management Practices for Nitrogen Use identifies an acceptable range of nitrogen fertilizer (N) at 130-180 pounds per acre for corn after corn and an acceptable range of 100-140 pounds per acre for corn after soybeans. An example of actual application rates, Minnesota farmers applied an average of 140 pounds per acre of nitrogen fertilizer on corn acres in 2010.

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Agriculture and water quality in Minnesota: Is it all doom and gloom?

When it comes to water quality in Minnesota, agency report after agency report and media story after media story paint a bleaker and bleaker picture. If you read enough of these reports and stories – and we read them all here at the Minnesota Corn office – you feel like Minnesota’s water quality is beyond repair.

The finger is pointed at agriculture as a major cause of water degradation in almost all of these reports or media pieces.

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