Category: Sustainability

Talking soil health on Bryan Biegler’s farm near Lake Wilson at a recent field day event.

MCGA’s newest board member is a soil health innovator

Bryan Biegler, a farmer in Lake Wilson, Minn., has been appointed to an at-large position on the board of directors of Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA).

Biegler has been farming for the past 25 years. He replaces Tim Wiersma on the MCGA board, who resigned due to other commitments, and will be up for election in January.

Four years ago, responding to problems with soil erosion on the land he was working,

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MCGA: We will become the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn farmers in the U.S.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) announced today its intentions to implement an ambitious set of initiatives with the goal of making Minnesota corn farmers the most sustainable and environmentally responsible in the United States.

In making the announcement, MCGA President Harold Wolle said: “This is a grassroots, farmer-driven effort that addresses values shared by both farmers and non-farmers. It’s a lofty goal. But we believe the approximately 25,000 corn farmers MCGA represents are already making great strides in achieving it.

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The next value-added market for Minnesota corn? Shrimp!

trū® Shrimp Systems, in the southwestern Minnesota town of Balaton, hopes to become the premier supplier of fresh shrimp to the United States. With their innovative technology, the world is their oyster — success here could open the door to the 1.6-billion-pound demand for shrimp in the United States.

It’s a billion-pound market and it’s a space corn producers have never been in before. Thanks to a grant from Minnesota Corn Research &

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$1.1 Million grant funds farmer-driven water quality research

Farmers believe that raising food efficiently goes hand in hand with taking good care of the soil and the water.

The farmer-funded Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) has received its first major grant from an outside organization— a $1.1 million grant to fund a project called “Developing Diagnostics to Improve Water Quality and Soil Health on Tile Drained Lands in Minnesota and Wisconsin.” The money comes from USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

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Farmers: Report crop losses to crop insurance agent BEFORE harvesting

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is reminding farmers to contact their crop insurance agent before harvesting fields to report and verify crop losses.

Heavy rains throughout Minnesota have left some farmers dealing with issues like flooded fields, mold and stalk rot caused by wet soil. A 24-hour period from Sept. 21-22 saw some areas of the state get drenched with anywhere from 5-10 inches of rain.

“Don’t hesitate to contact your crop insurance agent about losses.

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Farmers foster soil health to fight wind erosion

Talking soil health on Bryan Biegler's farm near Lake Wilson.

Talking soil health on Bryan Biegler’s farm near Lake Wilson.

On Thursday, despite rain and the threat of thunder, a group of farmers crowded around a pit dug in the midst of row crops almost ready to harvest. They were eager to hear about techniques to assure the health of the soil on their farms for generations to come.

Two soil experts pointed out the layer-cake quality and texture found in healthy soil.

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Minnesota corn farmer testifies at pollinator and neonic hearing

A legislative hearing last week focused on Gov. Mark Dayton’s recent executive order on protecting pollinators, specifically a section of the order that requires farmers to prove that they face “imminent danger of significant crop loss” before they can make foliar applications of neonictinoids. MDA is also requesting regulatory authority of treated seeds.

Brian Thalmann, a fifth-generation farmer near Plato, Minn., and a director on the Minnesota Corn Growers Association board, was the lone farmer to testify at the hearing.

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MCGA offering conservation innovation grants for the second year

Minnesota corn farmers will once again have the opportunity to put their innovative conservation ideas into action through the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s (MCGA) Innovation Grant Program. Proposals on how to better manage nitrogen, protect water quality, or compare farming measuring tools are being accepted through Dec. 15, 2016.

MCGA, working alongside the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC), is offering a total of $255,000 in Innovation Grants to any Minnesota corn farmer seeking to test or develop an innovative or best practice in the following areas:

  • Nitrate loss reduction
  • Improved nitrogen management practices for Minnesota soils
  • Maintaining or improving water quality
  • Innovative soil conservation practices,

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Taking the kura (clover) cure

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

It seems odd to say that after 10 years, they are still at the early stages of research into kura clover. Used as a perennial cover crop, it offers a promising addition to corn and soybean production systems, but there are still a lot of questions to ask.

Here at the largest of the University of Minnesota Extension Service Outreach and Research Center (4,000 acres-plus),

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MCGA hopes to bring farmers’ voices to Governor’s pollinator protection committee

Bee_Mark_MacLennan_MJM_0977-(ZF-4407-50628-1-001)Earlier today, Governor Dayton issued an executive order regarding the health of our pollinators in Minnesota. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) agrees with the governor that pollinators play a crucial role in the health of our agricultural economy and steps must be taken to ensure their continued health. Long term solutions that protect our pollinators and contribute to the sustainability of our farmers are something in which all Minnesotans have a stake.

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