Category: Sustainability

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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From today's Star Tribune: Enough with all of this Minnesota farmer-bashing

Noah Hultgren, a fourth-generation family farmer in Raymond, Minn., and First Vice President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, has an op-ed in today’s Star Tribune that covers what corn farmers are doing to address water quality concerns.

Hultgren also shares his perspective Gov. Dayton’s buffer strip proposal and tackles “what seems to be a coordinated effort to label farmers as polluters who are doing nothing to address water-quality concerns.”

Here is an excerpt from the piece:

We don’t need more shouting.

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This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

Written by Anna Boroff
Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Policy Director

The legislature has to be done by May 18, which means we’re getting closer to crunch time for many ag and corn-related bills. Here is this week’s legislative update:

Buffer update
Nothing new to report on the buffer front. Based on conversations I’ve had around the capitol, I still think the governor will try and get something related to buffers passed at the end of this session,

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Setting the record straight on converting Minnesota wetlands to crops

A recent study from the University of Wisconsin – Madison claims that Minnesota converted more wetlands into farmland than any other state from 2008-12. Unfortunately, many media outlets reported the findings of this study without scrutinizing the study’s methodologies or questioning why it wasn’t peer-reviewed by fellow scientists instead of just an editor or editorial board.

If the UW-Madison study received the scrutiny it deserved, here’s what we would have learned:

  • The study’s authors mainly used data from an outdated U.S.

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5 takeaways from Gov. Dayton's public meetings on buffers

Governor Mark Dayton visited Worthington and Austin on Thursday to hear feedback from farmers and local leaders on his proposal to require 50-foot buffer strips along all Minnesota waterways.

About 400 people packed both meeting rooms to weigh in on the issue. If you weren’t able to attend, here are five takeaways from the meetings:

1. Farmers want partnership. Comment after comment from farmers and other stakeholders wondered why the governor didn’t invite farmers to the table to discuss possible solutions before revealing his buffer proposal at a pheasant summit in the Twin Cities in January.

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Gov. Dayton to host public meetings on buffer strip proposal

Gov. Mark Dayton will host public meetings on Thursday, April 2, in Worthington and Austin to discuss his buffer strip proposal.

If you’re a farmer and would like to make your voice heard on the governor’s proposal to require 50-foot buffers on all waterways, this is your chance.

Here are details for each meeting:


Governor Mark Dayton
Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson
Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr
Local leaders
Area residents

Public meeting to discuss Governor Dayton’s proposed initiative to improve Minnesota water quality and animal habitat through the use of buffer strips


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Corn Views: Farmers are losing the public perception battle

Northfield farmer and Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Bruce Peterson wrote a new “Corn Views” column this week that focused on Gov. Dayton’s proposed buffer strip legislation and the importance of farmers telling their own conservation story.

Peterson wrote that MCGA strongly supports the use of buffer strips, but opposes a portion of the governor’s legislation that calls for a one-size-fits-all 50-foot buffer requirement. Peterson writes:

Agricultural research shows that a one-size-fits all buffer solution is not the most effective or efficient strategy for improving water quality.

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Minnesota corn farmer replies to Star Tribune's "Big Ag" editorial on buffer strips

On Sunday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an editorial dismissing the conservation efforts of farmers by labeling farmers and the grassroots organizations they belong to as “Big Ag.”

The editorial was spurred by the opposition of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and other family farm organizations to Gov. Dayton’s proposal to mandate 50-foot buffer strips along all Minnesota waterways in farm country. This statement from MCGA President Bruce Peterson highlights why the organization opposes to the one-size-fits-all legislation.

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