Category: Sustainability

Minnesota Farmers are top users of USDA Conservation Program

More farmers in Minnesota than any other state have used a voluntary USDA program that aims to improve, maintain and expand on-farm conservation practices.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and encourages farmers to take measurable steps to improve soil, water quality, wildlife habitat and other conservation efforts.

Since the CSP program began in 2009, nearly 2 million acres of Minnesota farmland has been enrolled.

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Green Star Farms Initiative: Benchmarking and Accelerating On-Farm Best Management Practices

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The land that brothers Nathan and Sean Collins farm in Murdock, Minn., has been in production for 150 years. They are the fourth generation of farmers in the Collins family.

According to Nathan, the thriving of that land — as healthy and productive as its ever been — and the thriving of the Collins family goes hand in hand.

That’s why he jumped at the opportunity to join the Green Star Farms Initiative,

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Central Minnesota Corn Farmer up for Conservation Award

Want an example of on-farm conservation practices in action? Look no further than Jon Hansmeier.

The list of conservation practices that Hansmeier has implemented on 660 acres of cropland in a corn/soybean rotation on his farm in Foley is impressive. Examples include:

  • Using mulch tillage on 146 acres of cropland , keeping at least one-third of the soil surface covered with crop residue.
  • Erosion control practices using a combination of fill material,

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Minnesota Gophers Farm Family of the Game goes to 5th Generation Dodge County Farmers

There’s a shade tree on Roger Toquam’s farm that sometimes doubles as a board room. On a hot day last week, the “board room” was packed for a very important meeting.

Roger, two of his three sons, and Roger’s father – three generations of Toquams — were gathered to talk farming. They covered strategies for improving their corn, soybean and contract hog finishing farm, and also reflected a little on how fortunate they all are to be a part of such a special family “business.”

“I thought to myself,

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Ag Water Quality Experts Tour Minnesota Discovery Farms Network

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Farmers want to know the volume of nutrients and sediment leaving their land. Eleven such producers across the state of Minnesota take part in Minnesota Discovery Farms Network, and three of these farms hosted a tour of agricultural water quality experts on Aug. 13-15 from states that have each developed their own Discovery Farms network.

Warren Formo, director of Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center,

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