Category: Sustainability

What I learned from an organic farmer

Written by Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke, Minnesota Corn Growers Association intern

Organic farming gets a lot of attention, both good and bad. As someone who comes from a traditional farming background with genetically modified crops and pesticides, I am usually quick on the defensive when it comes to a discussion around organics.

My eyes were opened by Carolyn Olson and Emily Zweber at the CommonGround volunteer training on June 24, at the Minnesota Corn office in Shakopee.

Read more >

A Crystal Ball? U of M researcher looking at climate change and the impact on corn

IMG_1460“Climate change increasingly poses one of the biggest long-term threats to investments.”  

— Christiana Figueres (Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

The battle with climate change comes with a battle with uncontrollable, unpredictable weather. University of Minnesota’s Dr. Tim Griffis is looking at giving farmers a head start.

“Nobody can know the future,” Griffis said, “But we need the best data and models possible for making informed decisions about the future.”

Funded partly by the Minnesota Corn Research  &

Read more >

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program enrolls 100,000th acre

Standing proudly in front of their new and improved dairy barn near Pierz, Minn., the Dean Marshik and Clare Palmquist farm, along with their son Daniel Maurer, became certified through Minnesota’s Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) last week.

The Marshik Dairy farm put the MAWQCP over 100,000 acres enrolled throughout the state. By enrolling in the voluntary program, Minnesota farmers have helped keep over 7.7 million pounds of sediment out of Minnesota rivers while saving nearly 10.3 million pounds of soil and 4,795 pounds of phosphorus on farms annually.

Read more >

Water-conscious farm family showcases controlled tile drainage as a conservation method

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Jared Nordick, 38, rented his first 65 acres from a neighbor when he was 15 years old. Right from the get-go, he practiced land stewardship side by side with his father Gerald, who learned how to care for the land from his dad.

The father-son team planted trees for a shelter belt to reduce wind erosion and tended to buffers and grass waterways. Nordick was among the first farmers certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Water Quality Certification Program.

Read more >

In The Land of 10,000 Lakes, farmers support clean water solutions

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Kim Gorans , his dad, uncles, brother-in-law and cousins — 11 family members in all — work together raising turkeys and corn on their farm just south of Willmar. They are striving to make their land produce bountiful food and clean water.

Since 2006, Gorans’ farm site, close to Lake Kandiyohi, has been home to a bioreactor research project. A bioreactor is a filtration system set up at the edge of the farm field to filter tile drainage water.

Read more >

Your typical corn, beans…and grapes farm

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

When Jon Roisen gave up his farrow/feed hog operation around the turn of the 21st century, he felt a bit of a void. He and his son Aaron were leafing through an AURI publication celebrating the relatively new cold-hardy wine grape variety, pioneered by University of Minnesota, called Frontenac.

They looked at each other and said yes to wine grapes.

Aaron went to New Zealand to learn oenology and the art of being a vintner,

Read more >

MCGA to Gov. Dayton: Please sign the recently-passed tax bill into law

A tax bill passed during the recently-concluded legislative session contains much-needed property tax relief for Minnesota farmers. Gov. Dayton has yet to sign the tax bill. Below is a letter sent to Gov. Dayton from Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Noah Hultgren. The letter was sent on behalf of MCGA’s 7,200 members.

Dear Governor Mark Dayton –

On behalf of Minnesota Corn’s over 7,200 members, we respectfully ask that you sign into law the omnibus tax bill passed at the end of session by the legislature.

Read more >

Answering farmers' questions about Minnesota's Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan

HarvestHave you read the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s 143-page Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan yet?

You haven’t? Well, what are you waiting for?

Just kidding. We don’t blame you if you think the Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan is a little intimidating. It’s in-depth, it’s technical and it’s 143 pages. Who has the time to read a 143-page document these days?

However, the Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan is something all Minnesota corn farmers should familiarize themselves with.

Read more >

Study: Corn exports add $74.7 billion to the U.S. economy

Exporting corn and corn products doesn’t just help improve a farmer’s bottom line, it provides a jolt to the entire U.S. economy. A new study from Informa Economics concluded that the export of U.S. corn and corn products generated $74.7 billion in annual economic output in 2014.

Sales of all U.S. grain feed products contributed $82 billion. The U.S. gross domestic product was boosted by $29.8 billion thanks to the export of corn and corn co-products.

Read more >

Legislative Update: What farmers need to know about the recently completed session

Written by Anna Boroff, Public Policy Director for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Another Minnesota legislative session has come and gone. Like other recent sessions, this one featured a flurry of activity toward the end, resulting in some bills getting passed, and some left on the table unfinished.

Let’s take a quick look at some key items from this legislative session that Minnesota corn farmers should be aware of:

Property tax relief
The No.

Read more >