Category: Sustainability

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,

Read more >

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,

Read more >

Farmers are moving earth (and planting grass) to deliver clean water

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

For five years, more than 40 farmers along the Root River have been studying and planning and this spring they will break ground on over 100 projects to create grassed waterways, sediment control basins and other structures to help achieve clean water goals for the Root River, one of the state’s ecological gems.

This is called the Root River Field-To-Stream partnership.  Kevin Kuehner, a soil scientist with Minnesota Department of Agriculture got the partnership together in 2009,

Read more >

USDA: Ethanol produces twice the amount of energy it consumes

The crowd that’s always trying to tear down ethanol constantly pushes the myth that ethanol requires more energy to make than it creates. The myth has been disproven time and again, but that’s never stopped the anti-ethanol zealots before.

Well, maybe a new USDA study finally slow them down.

The report is called “2015 Energy Balance For The Corn-Ethanol Industry” and concludes that ethanol has, on average a 2:1 energy ratio.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

The farmer’s perspective: Answering questions about agriculture’s impact on water quality

Here at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, we receive questions every day about farming, water quality and the efforts of farmers to protect and improve our states lakes, rivers and streams.

We decided to take some of the most commonly asked questions and answer them here on the blog. If you have questions that we didn’t answer in this post, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

Read more >

Al-Corn Clean Fuel’s position within a changing ethanol marketplace

AlCornAnyone involved in agriculture knows that the sector is not immune to the up-and-down cycles of the marketplace. Domestic and global market demands, weather, public policy decisions and the political environment are but a few of the variables that can impact a producer’s bottom line.

That is why there is great value in the cooperative model for agricultural producers. The processing of members’ corn adds significant value to their crop. Both members and their local communities benefit when farmers have additional income to spend on local goods and services.

Read more >

Corn Growers offering conservation innovation grants

Discovery Farms MinnesotaIf you’re a Minnesota corn farmer with an idea on how to better manage nitrogen and protect water quality, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) would like to help you put that idea into practice.

MCGA, working in partnership with the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC), is offering conservation innovation grants of up to $7,000 to any Minnesota corn farmer seeking to test or develop an innovative or best practice in the following areas:

  • Nitrate loss reduction
  • Improved nitrogen management practices for Minnesota soils
  • Maintaining or improving water quality,

Read more >

Corn Views: Water quality summit should focus on collaboration

by Noah Hultgren, Minnesota Corn Growers Association President

Governor Mark Dayton recently called for a statewide water quality summit to take place sometime in early 2016. Since agriculture is likely to be a focus of the summit, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight a few of the farmer-driven efforts to improve our state’s water quality, and share what I hope to see take place at the summit from a farmer’s perspective.

Read more >