Tag: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

MCGA Leadership: Stop spreading myths about the Groundwater Protection Rule

Last week, the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule was finally released for farmers to review and comment. While the rule has only recently been the focus of disdain from some in Minnesota agriculture, it has been in the making for nearly 30 years with significant input from agricultural organizations along the way.

Suffice to say, the Groundwater Protection Rule is not going away.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has been involved with the development of the rule,

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Minnesota corn farmers take proactive approach to water quality

In fall 2016, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and its grower leaders announced an ambitious goal to become the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn farmers in the nation. A major part of that goal is to continuously improve the measures implemented by farmers to protect nearby waterways.

Minnesota’s corn growers are investing in research and education to better manage their use of nitrogen fertilizer. Since 2014, Minnesota’s 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 to reduce nitrate loss in water.

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MDA releases proposed Groundwater Protection Rule

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule – previously referred to as the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule – this morning. The proposed rule, the statement of need and reasonableness, appendixes for the statement of need and reasonableness and the notice of public hearings in July are all listed on the MDA website, which can be viewed here.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and its grower leaders will be carefully reviewing the more than 400 pages of documents over the coming days.

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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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Hundreds attend workshops on helping farmers through stressful times

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) first-ever “Down on the Farm: Supporting Farmers in Stressful Times” workshop series recently concluded with more than 450 people from all professional backgrounds attending to learn more about how they can help farmers through stressful times.

Held at six different locations spanning the state, the goal with each session was to help rural area professionals recognize mental and emotional distress in the farming community and employ strategies that help farmers in stressful situations.

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New service brings livestock to farmers for grazing opportunities

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Providing low-cost feed for the cattle while enriching soil, grazing is one of the five principles of crop land soil health. But for farmers who have the right operation to utilize grazing, just finding livestock producers who are willing and able to transport their herds can be tricky.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Cropland Grazing Exchange has just marked its first year of helping approximately 100 livestock farmers and row crop farmers make that connection by serving as matchmaker between the two.

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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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