Category: Sustainability

Toquam family carries on conservation and farming tradition

The Toquam family’s history of on-farm conservation efforts started back in the 1930s, when Clifford Toquam planted a line of arbor vitae trees three-eighths of a mile long to protect his fields from wind erosion.

Today, Roger Toquam and his family are the fourth generation to carry on that farming and conservation tradition.

“There’s something bred in a farmer about knowing what’s the right thing to do,” Roger said. “It bothers us if we see soil erosion or runoff happening.

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Check out how this MN farmer protects water quality and soil fertility

Bryan Biegler had been thinking about switching to strip-tiling his corn and soybean fields for almost 10 years before he finally tried it.

“I got sick of seeing my soil wash away during big, heavy rains,” said the third-generation farmer from Lake Wilson in southwestern Minnesota.

Today, Biegler notices the difference strip-tilling has made. There are still a few spots that get washed out during heavy rains (that’s inevitable), but more of his soil and fertilizer stays on his fields and out of nearby ditches and waterways.

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Make your voice heard: Ask Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken to stop WOTUS

Unless farmers, landowners and other concerned citizens act now, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is set to go into effect on Aug. 28.

As most readers know, the new WOTUS rule dramatically expands the definition of what constitutes a water of the United States under the federal Clean Water Act. Ditches, ponds and low areas of a field that only contain moisture for a few days out of the year could be subject to permit requirements under the Clean Water Act if WOTUS is implemented.

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Today's farms are greener than grandpa's

Today’s edition of the Star Tribune features an op-ed from Seth Spronk, a livestock and row crop farmer in Edgerton, Minn., on the efforts of today’s farmers to protect our land, soil and water resources. Spronk wrote the piece in response to a July 5 Star Tribune story that featured the town of Edgerton (located in Pipestone County) and examined water quality and agricultural runoff.

Spronk detailed the many steps he takes on his own farm to effectively manage the application of manure and other inputs to best protect the area’s drinking water,

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Clarkfield farmer elected Chair of MN Corn Research & Promotion Council

Doug Albin, a corn, soybean, wheat and alfalfa farmer near Clarkfield in Yellow Medicine County, was recently elected to serve as Chair of the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC).

The 11-member MCR&PC administers the efficient and effective investment of Minnesota’s corn check-off, which is a way for corn farmers to voluntarily invest in their own industry through a self-imposed fee paid at the first point of sale for every bushel of corn sold.

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Corn Views: Water quality discussion shouldn’t require a scoreboard

Written by Bruce Peterson

Unfortunately, many of us have a tendency to treat our political process like a sporting event. Who won? Who lost? Who will come out on top when one side of an issue faces off against the other?

Instead of coming together to try and find practical solutions and develop meaningful policy, too much time is spent on political games and trying to figure out “winners” and “losers.”

Farmers found themselves the middle of one of these showdowns during the last legislative session when Gov.

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Farmfest nitrate screening helps farmers address water quality

Bring your water samples from wells, ditches, streams or tile outlets to Farmfest for free nitrate screening, courtesy of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center (MAWRC).

The screening is completely confidential and takes about 20 minutes. You can drop off your sample at the MAWRC location inside of the AURI tent, check out Farmfest, then pick up your results anytime.

“There’s a lot of attention being paid to nitrates in groundwater and surface waters,”

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Video: Discovery Farms helps farmers protect water quality

Discovery FarmsAcross Minnesota, Discovery Farms is helping farmers monitor the amount of sediment and fertilizer leaving their fields. The effort is one of many ways farmers are investing in science and technology to continuously improve at protecting land, soil and water resources.

Recently, Lynn Ketelsen from the Linder Farm Network visited Brian Herbst’s family farm near Kasson, Minn. Herbst’s farm is one of 11 diverse Discovery Farm sites throughout Minnesota where agronomy experts have installed equipment to monitor sediment,

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Legislative summary: Will Gov. Dayton veto agriculture and environment bill?

Written by Anna Boroff
Minnesota Corn Growers Association Policy Director

After a whirlwind end to the legislative session, we’re all left to wonder what bills Gov. Dayton will veto and when he will call a special session.

The Omnibus Environment and Agriculture Finance Bill contains many items important to Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) members. Here is a summary of those items,

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Here are details on the newly passed buffer amendment

 

As the Minnesota legislative session dragged into late into Sunday night and early Monday morning, the Environment and Agriculture Committee again adopted language on the buffer issue. The amendment, basically, calls for the enforcement of existing buffer laws on a timeline for adoption and includes a fine for noncompliance.

The final omnibus Environment/Ag bill is awaiting final approval by the House and Senate, then goes to the Governor’s office for signature.

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