Tag: Buffers

Agriculture and water quality in Minnesota: Is it all doom and gloom?

When it comes to water quality in Minnesota, agency report after agency report and media story after media story paint a bleaker and bleaker picture. If you read enough of these reports and stories – and we read them all here at the Minnesota Corn office – you feel like Minnesota’s water quality is beyond repair.

The finger is pointed at agriculture as a major cause of water degradation in almost all of these reports or media pieces.

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The farmer’s perspective: Answering questions about agriculture’s impact on water quality

Here at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, we receive questions every day about farming, water quality and the efforts of farmers to protect and improve our states lakes, rivers and streams.

We decided to take some of the most commonly asked questions and answer them here on the blog. If you have questions that we didn’t answer in this post, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

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These MN family farmers are proud to call themselves "active environmentalists"

It’s rare that Jeffrey and Karen Larson shut down their combine in the middle of harvest season. But when their landlord’s daughter and family called and asked if her and a few friends from the Twin Cities could come over for a tour of the Larson’s farm a few years ago, the Larsons took a short break from the fields and gave the group a taste of what farming in Minnesota is all about.

“We’re going to take the time,

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6,000 feet of buffers protect water quality on this Faribault county family farm

On their family farm in Wells, Minn., Mark and Lea Nowak have over 6,000 feet of buffer strips along a large county drainage ditch that enters Walnut Lake and eventually flows into the Blue Earth River before ending up in the Minnesota River.

The buffers are 33 feet wide, twice as long as what the county recommended when they were installed in 2008.

“It’s nice to walk along and see that it’s keeping sediments and runoff out of the water,” Mark said.

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Check out how this MN farmer protects water quality and soil fertility

Bryan Biegler had been thinking about switching to strip-tiling his corn and soybean fields for almost 10 years before he finally tried it.

“I got sick of seeing my soil wash away during big, heavy rains,” said the third-generation farmer from Lake Wilson in southwestern Minnesota.

Today, Biegler notices the difference strip-tilling has made. There are still a few spots that get washed out during heavy rains (that’s inevitable), but more of his soil and fertilizer stays on his fields and out of nearby ditches and waterways.

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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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This week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol

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

Avian influenza and buffers remained the most-publicized agriculture issue at the state capitol last week, but as usual, there were plenty of other ag issues farmers should be aware of as well. Here is this week’s legislative update:

Buffers
Not much new to report on Gov. Dayton’s buffer proposal. The governor met with Northfield farmer and MCGA President Bruce Peterson,

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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

Gov. Dayton’s buffer proposal and the bioeconomy bill once again lead this week’s ag update from the Minnesota state capitol. On the federal side, we have a Renewable Fuel Standard update and news on the Waters of the United States legislation.

Before getting to this week’s update, I’d like to thank the farmer-leaders from Minnesota Corn who spent Tuesday at the capitol visiting legislators and meeting with agency leaders.

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