Category: Sustainability

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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MCGA student Agvocate highlights his family's efforts to protect water quality

Written by Sam Peterson

Water quality has become an increasingly heated issue surrounding agriculture in the last few years. On my family’s farm in Northfield, Minn., it has been a hot topic since I was born. My family is very concerned with the quality of the land we farm and that includes the quality of the water below and on the surface. We use many practices to help conserve the quality of water including buffer strips,

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New interactive online map makes it easy to learn more about conservation efforts of Minnesota farmers

Have you ever wondered why farmers leave a wide strip of lush green grasses in certain sections of their corn fields? Do you hear the terms “no-till” or “ridge-till” and wonder what they mean? Would you like to see pictures of a real buffer strips instead of just reading about them in the news?

Or maybe you simply want to see some up-close and personal photos of on-farm conservation efforts in the Land of 10,000 Lakes?

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Fore! Minnesota farm family combines passion for agriculture, conservation and golf

On their family farm near Northfield, Mike and Kay Peterson raise corn, soybeans, hogs and…golf balls.

Yes, golf balls.

Since 1991, a public driving range occupies a low area of land that once was home to soybeans on the Peterson’s nearly 100-year-old third generation family farm. A ball dispenser spits out a small or large bucket of balls to any wannabe Jack Nicklaus who wishes to work on his or her swing.

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Corn farmers fund research to help overcome obstacles to cover crops in Minnesota

It took a lot of experimenting before Bryan Biegler finally found success with cover crops on his farm near Lake Wilson in southwest Minnesota.

“We’re just now finding our spot with cover crops,” Biegler said. “We’re experimenting with different equipment and seeing what works for us.”

When it comes to cover crops, there are a lot of Minnesota farmers out there like Biegler. They see the soil fertility and water quality benefits cover crops provide,

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Minnesota corn farmer's CRP land buzzing with pollinator activity

When John Luepke turns off the engine on his 4-wheeler, he hears the steady buzz of pollinating bees on his farm near Courtland, Minn., in Nicollet County.

Luepke has enrolled a 20 acre section of his farm into USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which helps farmers plant species that improve environmental health on sensitive areas of land.  The colorful Blacked Eyed Susans and New England Astor flowers created a nearly perfect landscape for pollinating insects like bees.

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This week's Gophers Farm Family of the Game works to protect water and soil resources

Leon Schoenrock has been farming for 32 years. Over that time, he’s worked to improve his conservation efforts and seen many of his fellow farmers do the same.

Leon, his wife Beth, and their two children will be honored during Saturday’s Minnesota Gophers football game at TCF Bank Stadium as the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Homegrown Farm Family of the Game.

This is the third season that MCGA has partnered with Gophers football to recognize a homegrown Farm Family of the Game during all home football games.

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Conservation-minded farm family to be honored during Saturday’s Gophers football game

Dana Blume is proud of his family farm near Elbow Lake, Minn. On Saturday, Blume’s pride will be on display in front of a packed TCF Bank Stadium when Dana, his wife Katy, and their four children are honored as the Minnesota Corn Growers Farm Family of the Game when the Gophers take on Kent State.

Dana is a third-generation farmer and has grown corn, soybeans and sugar beets since 1996. His grandfather owned the local John Deere dealership and farming has always been in Dana’s blood.

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