Tag: Cover Crops

Governor’s Water Summit: Can state’s water challenges be made into economic opportunities?

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The ballroom at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul filled to overflowing on Saturday with an estimated 800 stakeholders all gathered to draw up the outlines of an action plan for restoring and protecting Minnesota’s waters.

A strong representation of farmers and agribusiness attended the meeting — 17 grower leaders from Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA), joined by representatives of Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union and other agricultural groups — all there to describe the work farmers have put into improving water quality,

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Summarizing news coverage of Gov. Dayton's water summit

We’ll have several more posts throughout this week covering Gov. Dayton’s water summit, which took place on Saturday in St. Paul. For now, here’s a quick summary of the news coverage of the event.

  • Right off the bat, anti-pipeline protesters interrupted the governor’s opening remarks during the summit. The stunt ended up hijacking the headlines in many media accounts of the summit.
  • Once the protesters left the stage,

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Farmers are moving earth (and planting grass) to deliver clean water

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

For five years, more than 40 farmers along the Root River have been studying and planning and this spring they will break ground on over 100 projects to create grassed waterways, sediment control basins and other structures to help achieve clean water goals for the Root River, one of the state’s ecological gems.

This is called the Root River Field-To-Stream partnership.  Kevin Kuehner, a soil scientist with Minnesota Department of Agriculture got the partnership together in 2009,

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Myth vs. Fact on farming, nitrogen, buffers and water quality

Myth: Farmers apply too much nitrogen on crop land.

Fact: University of Minnesota Best Management Practices for Nitrogen Use identifies an acceptable range of nitrogen fertilizer (N) at 130-180 pounds per acre for corn after corn and an acceptable range of 100-140 pounds per acre for corn after soybeans. An example of actual application rates, Minnesota farmers applied an average of 140 pounds per acre of nitrogen fertilizer on corn acres in 2010.

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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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Growers of the ‘third crop’ share results

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Lakefield farmers Jerry and Nancy Ackermann were among the presenters at a gathering in Okabena in mid-November, in which three dozen farmers from Jackson and Nobles county met to compare results, trade experiences and learn ways to improve performance with cover crops.

Jerry and Nancy are members of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

The Ackermanns have increased the use of covers between the rows of their corn and soybeans for the past six years.

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Corn farmers fund research to help overcome obstacles to cover crops in Minnesota

It took a lot of experimenting before Bryan Biegler finally found success with cover crops on his farm near Lake Wilson in southwest Minnesota.

“We’re just now finding our spot with cover crops,” Biegler said. “We’re experimenting with different equipment and seeing what works for us.”

When it comes to cover crops, there are a lot of Minnesota farmers out there like Biegler. They see the soil fertility and water quality benefits cover crops provide,

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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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Cover Crop Symposium reaches out to crop advisory professionals

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Many cover crop events focus, naturally, on the farmer. The April 4 Cover Crop Symposium held in St. Cloud shifted the focus to crop advisory personnel, because, in order to make cover crops a workable solution, crop advisers have to have an interactive relationship with the academic research community to assure that cover cropping systems beneficial to farmers become widely available.

Keynote speaker Prof.

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