Tag: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Buffer Alternative Practices

Buffer Law deadline for compliance is Nov. 1

The deadline for farmers to comply with the Minnesota Buffer Law is less than a month away.

By Nov. 1, the law requires farmers to install a 50-foot vegetative buffer on all public waters, or file for a waiver that extends the deadline. By Nov. 1, 2018, farmers must have a 16.5-foot buffer on all public ditches.

Prior to Nov. 1, farmers are encouraged to visit their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office to discuss options for compliance and implementation under Minnesota’s buffer law.

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New tool helps farmers choose alternative practices to buffers

Alternatives to Buffers Management Tool:

  • Click here to access the Quick Start Guide.
  • Click here to access the Tool (please note, an Excel Spreadsheet will open)
  • Click here to access the AgroEcoregion Mapbook to find out which region your land is located in
  • If you have questions about the Alternatives to Buffers Management Tool, MCGA recommends you visit your local SWCD office.

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What you need to know about the nitrogen management rule

Click here to download a printer-friendly PDF version of the “What you need to know” document regarding the nitrogen management rule, which is being implemented to minimize potential sources of nitrate pollution in our state’s groundwater.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has released the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, which is being implemented to minimize potential sources of nitrate pollution in the state’s groundwater and as part of the Minnesota Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan.

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MCGA president joins state officials in Cuba trade mission

Last week Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Harold Wolle joined state officials and agricultural leaders in a trade mission to Cuba in an effort to develop the country as a market for corn exports. For Minnesota-grown corn, the trip was hopefully the beginning of many conversations to develop a trade relationship for the commodity.

Wolle, along with Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, State Senator Julie Rosen and other representatives from ag commodity groups,

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MN State Capitol

Legislative Recap: End of session and special session full of drama

The Legislature did not fully complete its business, including the passage of omnibus tax and budget bills, by the constitutional deadline of May 22nd at midnight, and went into a special session that finally concluded early Friday morning. Following is a report regarding key legislative issues important to farmers:

BUFFER LEGISLATION
The omnibus environmental and natural resources policy and finance bill was passed just before the close of the regular session. As amended,

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2017 Minnesota Session

MN Legislative Update: Lawmakers return to full agenda

Minnesota State Legislators return to St. Paul on April 18 with a significant number of issues to address during the closing five weeks of the 2017 session. Leaders in both the House and Senate established earlier committee deadlines to better manage larger pieces legislation before the session is scheduled to end and to avoid the potential for a special session. As a result, several bills with impacts to the agriculture sector could be taken up soon.

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MN House 2017

Legislative Update: State budget proposals unveiled

Under the Minnesota Constitution, the State Legislature and Governor are responsible for developing a new state budget every two years. Budgets are crafted during odd numbered years, immediately following the previous year’s elections. The state’s fiscal budget year is July 1 – June 30, so the legislature and Governor have a real deadline, unless they are prepared to risk a government shutdown.

How well a state budget is developed and adopted depends in part on ideological differences between those who control the state’s House,

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MN Legislature

Ag policy issues elevated in Legislature

Earlier this session, both House and Senate leadership established committee deadlines that were earlier in the legislative calendar than those in past legislative sessions. The shorter deadlines mean that key policy legislation needs crisp action to adhere to leadership’s strict schedule. By last Friday, for example, all bills that have been introduced had to pass out of committees in their house of origin to remain viable. As a result, agriculture issues received a significant amount of attention during the week.

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MN House 2017

Legislative Update: Larger budget surplus drives tax reform talk

According to the Minnesota Management and Budget’s (MMB) February Forecast, which was issued on Tuesday, Feb. 28, the state is projected to have a slightly larger budget surplus than what was predicted back in November. As has been mentioned before, policymakers have been discussing a variety of ways to manage the budget surplus, now estimated at approximately $1.65 billion for the two-year budget cycle that begins July 1.

Tax relief measures are among the more popular proposals of how to allocate the surplus.

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Nitrogen efficiency key to yield contest winner’s success

Gary Prescher, Delavan, Minn., was recently named a state winner in the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) “National Corn Yield Contest”. Prescher attributes his success to a long-term commitment to improved land and crop management practices; more specifically, soil health through improved drainage, in season crop monitoring with nitrogen, and fertility management.

Back in 2010, Prescher was examining his fields and considering additional ways to improve both consistency and productivity year-to-year.

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