Category: Sustainability

Finding the roadmap to healthy soil

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

On a sunny day early in the growing season, before the corn or soybean crop has had time to spread a canopy, the surface of the bare soil around the plants can reach temperatures upwards of 120 degrees.

“It basically cooks the biology right out of the soil,” said USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) plant physiologist and conservation ag advocate Jerry Hatfield. “But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Nitrogen Smart Workshop 2017

Nitrogen Smart seminar attendees realize big savings in fertilizer costs

University of Minnesota Extension has been holding Nitrogen Smart seminars across Minnesota to help farmers become more effective with their use of nitrogen. Supported by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the seminars have been attended by more than 600 people in its first two years, and the feedback suggests it has been well worth their time.

At each seminar, led by Extension Educator Brad Carlson, farmers learn about the latest data and research behind nitrogen application practices that not only reduce environmental impact,

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Leading ag researchers on display at MN Ag EXPO

MN Ag EXPO will again be the place to be for an up-close look at some of the most exciting research happening in the state that will shape future farm practices. It is also one of the only opportunities farmers will have to speak with the researchers leading these projects.

Leaders from the University of Minnesota will be on-hand at the Verizon Wireless Center on Jan. 24-25 to chat with farmers and ag professionals about their work.

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Corn farmers’ stories reach millions on National Geographic

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) partnered with National Geographic in the fall to share the stories of America’s corn farmers with a robust national audience. Four farmers, including Minnesota Corn Growers Association board member Bryan Biegler, were featured on NationalGeographic.com and its social channels through November.

Each farmer was provided a large platform to share how innovation and technology has allowed them to become more productive and environmentally responsible. Biegler,

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Innovation Grant Spotlight: Reduced versus traditional tillage

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Throughout the summer we have been highlighting projects from the 2017 Innovation Grant Program, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Through Dec. 15, you can apply to the 2018 Innovation Grant Program here. MCGA will be distributing as much as $300,000 to farmers interested in testing an idea on their farm.

While many farmers are sticking to traditional tilling practices,

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Northern farmers can again take advantage of free bus ride to MN Ag EXPO

Northern farmers will once again have the option to sit back, relax and enjoy the bus ride to MN Ag EXPO in Mankato next month. Farmers are encouraged to take advantage of the stress-free ride by hopping on the bus at one of four stops across northern Minnesota.

The bus will be picking up farmers in Red Lake Falls, Fertile Ada, Barnesville and Fergus Falls the morning of Jan. 23, which is the day before EXPO begins.

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Bringing the farm to University of Minnesota underclassmen

(Lauren Biegler with her husband, Bryan, on their Lake Wilson farm)

Last week nearly 200 University of Minnesota underclassmen attended their introductory nutrition course for a lesson they may not have expected when enrolling in the class. Lauren Biegler, who is a CommonGround Minnesota volunteer, represented the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) by joining others from agriculture on a panel about modern farming.

While the ins and outs of today’s farm operations may not have a clear connection to the education of aspiring dietitians,

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Farmers unite on Twitter to support NAFTA

Farmers nationwide united on Twitter yesterday to make their voices heard on the importance of NAFTA to agriculture. The grassroots advocacy campaign included farmers of all backgrounds, legislators and multiple ag and business organizations proclaiming the economic impact of the free-trade agreement using the #Farmers4NAFTA hashtag.

Farmers were encouraged to tweet positive messages about NAFTA and the benefits it has brought to American farms. Participants cited statistics that show the growth of exports to Canada and Mexico under NAFTA,

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New tillage guide says less is more

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The new Upper Midwest Tillage Guide provides Minnesota and North Dakota farmers with a resource for considering the right amount of tillage for their operation and which implements will help the farmer achieve new tillage goals.

The guide looks at the history of tillage before going into the benefits of reduced tillage and how to employ these strategies. Its authors are Jodi DeJong-Hughes,

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Major soil health research project revealed for World Soil Day

To celebrate World Soil Day, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) announced a project that will accelerate the adoption of soil health practices on farms by creating standardized measurements that show the benefits of soil health management.

The Nature Conservancy, Soil Health Institute and Soil Health Partnership received a $9.4 million grant from FFAR and matching funds from a number of companies and private donors. With the $20 million in funding,

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