Tag: Fertilizer

2017 Minnesota Session

Legislative Update: Important bills move to the floor

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior public policy director

It was a flurry of activity this week in St. Paul as legislators put in long hours to assemble supplemental finance bills for committees with jurisdiction over different parts of the state budget.

The finance bills being put forward by different committees also contain various changes to existing law and new policy proposals. Since the Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton finalized a two-year state budget during the 2017 legislative session,

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MDA responds to MCGA’s call for the release of the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule

Last month, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) sent a letter to Governor Mark Dayton requesting the immediate release of both the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule and detailed GIS maps, followed by a 90-day comment period. Recently, MCGA received an official response to its requests from Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Commissioner Dave Frederickson.

In the letter, Commissioner Frederickson stated the draft Nitrogen Rule has not yet been released because the language and accompanying Statement of Need and Reasonableness are still being drafted,

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The historical timeline of the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule

The Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule has become a hotly debated topic during the 2018 legislative session. With that, there have been many inaccurate reports circling regarding the draft Rule, particularly how this draft Rule came to be. Below is a detailed timeline of the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, which dates back to 1989.

1989

  • Groundwater Protection Act is passed by Minnesota Legislature and signed into law. Authority for the Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan and the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule is provided through the passing of the Groundwater Protection Act.

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MN State Capitol

Legislative Update: Lawmakers take action on key bills before break

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior public policy director

The Minnesota Legislature starts a 10-day Easter/Passover break today and will be back in session on Monday, April 9. The last couple of weeks have been busy in St. Paul as lawmakers worked to meet policy committee deadlines before heading back to their districts for the break. Here is a quick recap of where things stand on Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) legislative priorities and other policies important to agriculture.

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New technology identifies nitrogen deficient crops from the sky

Drones have become a useful tool for farmers who utilize the bird’s-eye view for crop surveillance, but the unique perspective only scratches the surface of the technology’s potential. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a technology that uses drones to identify nitrogen deficiencies on a plant-by-plant level using imaging analysis.

Developed with the support of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the technology uses a computer vision technique that examines the leaves of the corn plant for certain characteristics that correlate with nitrogen deficiency.

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MN Capitol

Legislative Update: MCGA’s day at the capitol, Nitrogen Rule movement and more

It is hard to believe we are wrapping up the fourth week of the Minnesota Legislative Session and action in St. Paul has really heated up. Next week, March 22, is the first committee deadline, which are set to narrow the list of bills to be considered by the legislature during the session.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) had a busy week advocating on behalf of our members. We had our annual day at the capitol and provided testimony before the House Agriculture Policy committee on the proposed nitrogen fertilizer rule from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

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Video tells the story of farmers as water quality producers

(Soil scientist Kevin Kuehner checks the edge-of-field monitoring equipment at a site near Bridge Creek in Southeastern Minnesota.)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

A newly released video (see below) shows the efforts by farmers to implement practices that prevent soil and nutrient loss in three small watersheds of southeastern Minnesota’s Root River. The ultimate goal over the decade-plus effort by farmers in the watershed is enhancing the water quality of nearby streams.

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MDA unveils an updated map and timeline for the Nitrogen Rule

Governor Mark Dayton and Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson held a press conference Tuesday outlining changes the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) intends to make to the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule. News from the meeting includes an updated map and updated timeline.

The updated map, which you can see here, has been significantly revised with less coverage of areas identified as vulnerable to fall application. For example, northwestern Minnesota was provided a climate exemption due to the low soil temperatures when fall nitrogen would normally be applied in the region.

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State’s corn growers invest in nitrogen management

Minnesota’s corn growers are investing in research and education to reduce nitrate loss as part of their mission to become the most environmentally responsible and sustainable corn farmers in the nation. Since 2014, corn farmers have invested nearly $6 million of their own funds through the corn check-off in education and research that improves nitrogen management strategies.

Through farmers’ corn check-off investment, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is working with leading researchers to develop best management practices that protect Minnesota’s drinking water while maintaining productive farm operations.

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Corn farmers invest in best management practices

By investing in the Minnesota corn check-off, our state’s corn farmers are setting the stage for profitability. While low commodity prices are a point of stress, allocating resources to improving the areas we can control is more important than ever. Over the coming weeks, we will be highlighting how your investment is doing just that.

Minnesota’s corn growers are working towards becoming the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn farmers in the nation.

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