Category: Sustainability

National Geographic shares the stories of nation’s corn farmers

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) partnered with National Geographic this fall to share the stories of America’s corn farmers with a robust national audience. Four farmers, including Minnesota’s Bryan Biegler, were visited by the magazine over the summer, and their stories will be told on NationalGeographic.com and its social channels through November.

The campaign features four articles, each of which profile one farmer detailing the impact of innovation and technology on corn farming.

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Innovation Grant Spotlight: Keith Hartmann

The 2017 Innovation Grant Program is well underway, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Throughout the summer we have been highlighting ongoing projects focused on how to better manage nitrogen and protect water quality.

Keith Hartmann is in his second year of participating in the Innovation Grant Program. The Gibbon farmer joined in year one to test interseeding cover crops in between corn rows while applying nitrogen in the same pass.

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Field day touts bottom-line benefits of soil health

(Photo: Soil Health Partnership Director Nick Goeser shows the benefits of cover crops up close)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Bryan Biegler has planted mixes of rye grass, turnips, brassicas and more as cover crops between the rows of his corn and soybeans. His hope is the right mix will mean he can stop applying pre-emergent herbicide.

In August, Biegler hosted about 60 farmers, agronomists and conservationists recently at a field day to discuss his work with soil-friendly cover crops and reduced tillage.

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Ethanol exports, mid-level blends provide optimism for U.S. corn prices

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its outlook for 2017 U.S. corn, with September production and yield estimates up slightly from August. Just after the report was released, corn futures declined.

While demand for corn has struggled to keep up with record-breaking yields, international market share for U.S.-grown corn has decreased with additional countries entering the market. These factors and more have led to struggling corn prices and tight margins for Minnesota farm operations.

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Innovation Grant Spotlight: Brian Ryberg

The 2017 Innovation Grant Program is well underway, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Throughout the summer we have been highlighting ongoing projects focused on how to better manage nitrogen and protect water quality.

There was a time when Brian Ryberg tilled the land on his Buffalo Lake farm until the soil was solid black prior to another season of corn-on-corn planting.

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New tool helps farmers choose alternative practices to buffers

Alternatives to Buffers Management Tool:

  • Click here to access the Quick Start Guide.
  • Click here to access the Tool (please note, an Excel Spreadsheet will open)
  • Click here to access the AgroEcoregion Mapbook to find out which region your land is located in
  • If you have questions about the Alternatives to Buffers Management Tool, MCGA recommends you visit your local SWCD office.

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Research Summary details the latest in check-off-funded research

As some may have noticed in their mailbox earlier this month, Minnesota Corn’s Research Summary 2017 has been released! We invite you to read this year’s summary and see Minnesota corn check-off dollars at work funding research that improves agricultural practices and creates new opportunities for corn farmers.

Research Summary 2017

Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council directs more than $4 million annually to independent research projects that promote the environmental and economic sustainability of farmers.

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4R Field Day showcases farmers’ success with conservation tillage

(Dave Legvold (left) speaks with New Prague farmer Greg Entinger, who is president of the Scott-LeSueur Corn & Soybean Growers, at the Field Day)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Last month, the 4R Technology Review Field Day gave farmers the opportunity to see first-hand the practices and success behind the 4R nutrient management strategy: Right source, Right rate, Right time and in the Right place.

The event,

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Future ag leaders learn about MCGA’s sustainability mission

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Students recently attended a summer ag education seminar called Heart of the Heartland to hear Minnesota Corn Research and Promotions Council (MCR&PC) Research Director Paul Meints and Jodi DeJong-Hughes, a soil health expert with University of Minnesota Extension, discuss sustainability efforts by today’s farmers.

Meints discussed the 23 farmer-led, conservation-focused research projects funded by the Innovation Grant Program, which began last year as part of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s (MCGA) and MRC&PC’s mission for Minnesota corn farmers to become the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn growers in the nation.

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Ag Policy Forum: National farm groups need young voices

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

It’s a time of decision for agriculture. That became clear at the National Ag Policy Forum at Farmfest last week as farmer leaders discussed the many issues requiring action sooner than later.

While crucial topics like trade, infrastructure and farm labor soon to be decided in congress will weigh heavy on production, the panel reached consensus on the need to grow participation of younger farmers in the grassroots efforts that are vital to the future of farming.

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