Category: Sustainability

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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Proud Minnesota farm family to be honored during Gophers football season-opener

Over multiple generations, the Mackenthun family has strongly supported the University of Minnesota and championed Minnesota agriculture.

When the Minnesota Gophers football team opens its season against the TCU Horned Frogs on Thursday night, the Mackenthuns will be honored as the Minnesota Corn Growers Farm Family of the Game.

Merlin Mackenthun and his wife, Jan, met at the University of Minnesota. Merlin graduated in 1972 with a double degree in Agriculture Engineering Technology and Agriculture Economics.

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Corn Links: Buffer strips, algae blooms, data, and best-in-show

It’s Tuesday, the weather is warming up again, and harvest time is getting closer and closer. Here are a couple of must-read stories from the world of corn and farming that are worth checking out:

All buffers, all the time
Minnesota’s new buffer legislation remains a hot topic in the Minnesota farming community. Daniel Looker at examined the issue in a story today. It’s worth a read for the insight Looker provides on a couple of Farm Service Agency programs that may help farmers when complying with the new buffer regulations.

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“Conservation in Action” tour visits MCGA President's family farm

Four buses filled with national policymakers and conservation leaders rolled onto the Northfield family farm of Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Bruce Peterson on Aug. 12 as part of the Conservation Technology Information Center’s (CTIC) “Conservation in Action Tour.”

Peterson’s farm was one of five stops on a tour of Southeastern Minnesota that highlighted the many conservation efforts of Minnesota farmers. The group learned more about what Peterson and his family do on their farm to protect soil health,

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Innovative project could help farmers overcome drought and protect water quality

An innovative project managed by University of Minnesota researcher Dr. Jeff Strock could help farmers boost yields while also improving water quality.

Later this summer, Strock will oversee the installation of an on-farm storage pond on a farm in Southwestern Minnesota. Surface and subsurface drainage water will be diverted to the pond instead of nearby waterways. Later in the summer, the water can be used for irrigation when thirsty crops need it most.

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These MN family farmers are proud to call themselves "active environmentalists"

It’s rare that Jeffrey and Karen Larson shut down their combine in the middle of harvest season. But when their landlord’s daughter and family called and asked if her and a few friends from the Twin Cities could come over for a tour of the Larson’s farm a few years ago, the Larsons took a short break from the fields and gave the group a taste of what farming in Minnesota is all about.

“We’re going to take the time,

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6,000 feet of buffers protect water quality on this Faribault county family farm

On their family farm in Wells, Minn., Mark and Lea Nowak have over 6,000 feet of buffer strips along a large county drainage ditch that enters Walnut Lake and eventually flows into the Blue Earth River before ending up in the Minnesota River.

The buffers are 33 feet wide, twice as long as what the county recommended when they were installed in 2008.

“It’s nice to walk along and see that it’s keeping sediments and runoff out of the water,” Mark said.

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This week showed why it's important for farmers to tell their own story

We’ve spent the past week here at highlighting some of the common, everyday conservation efforts of Minnesota’s corn farmers.

To many farmers, conservation practices like buffer strips, grass waterways or setting aside wildlife habitat is part of everyday life on the farm. But non-farmers might not be familiar with such practices and how farmers implement them.

That’s why it’s important for farmers to tell their own story, with an emphasis on conservation efforts.

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Field-to-Stream Partnership helps farmers improve water quality in Southeast MN

A collaboration among farmers, farm groups, private industry, conservation organizations, researchers and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is gathering on-farm data to help farmers better protect water quality in Southeastern Minnesota.

The Root River Field-to-Stream Partnership started in 2009 and uses innovative equipment and technology to monitor sediment and nutrient runoff from farm fields. The real-world, on-farm runoff data will help farmers better understand what is leaving their fields and entering nearby waterways so they can implement conservation practices to address the issue.

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Amazing drone footage of a MN farmer protecting water quality

Dan Erickson, a third-generation farmer near Alden in Southern Minnesota, joined a growing number of corn farmers this year who side-dress nitrogen.

Nitrogen, aka fertilizer, is needed to provide nutrients that grow corn — Minnesota’s most bountiful crop that produces food, feed, fiber and fuel for the entire world. Technological advancements, combined with years of farmer-funded research, now make it possible for corn farmers to apply nitrogen at different times during the growing season.

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