Category: Sustainability

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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,

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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.

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Involve farmers in the water quality conversation

Doug Albin

by Doug Albin

As a third-generation family farmer, I’ve been paying attention to agriculture water quality issues for a long time.

On my farm, like many other Minnesota farmers, I use common conservation practices like grass waterways and buffers. I was also one of the first farmers in Minnesota to install a saturated buffer, which protects waterways from nitrogen fertilizer and other nutrients that could run off my fields during heavy rains.

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Technology and social investment key factors in agriculture water quality

Taking advantage of — and keeping pace with — rapidly evolving technology will be a key factor in the ongoing effort to improve the balance of agricultural production and environmental stewardship. That was one of several insights provided by a panel of experts on farming and water quality that included Minnesota Corn Growers Association Executive Director Dr. Adam Birr at last week’s annual Agri-Growth Conference in Minneapolis.

“Maybe technology has outpaced our knowledge a little bit,”

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Minnesota corn farmers: Tell Klobuchar and Franken to stop WOTUS now!

KlobFrankThe U.S. Senate plans to vote on S. 1140 and possibly the Congressional Review Act concerning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corp of Engineers’ Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule next week.

If passed, this would force EPA and the Corps to withdraw its damaging WOTUS rule.

Minnesota corn farmers: It’s time to make your voices heard. Tell Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken to vote YES on S.

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