Tag: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

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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MN House 2017

Bills beginning to move at Capitol

Legislative leadership recently established deadlines to move bills through the process during the 2017 session. These deadlines are earlier than recent legislative sessions. As a result, we should start to see increased action at the committee and floor level on legislation that could impact corn farmers.

Under the schedule approved by Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, all bills that have been introduced must be passed by the house of origin by Friday,

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Strip tillage on the Biegler farm

Water Summit addresses concerns, solutions for water quality

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

A packed auditorium of farmers, local residents and government officials from across the state came together for Governor Dayton’s second annual Town Hall Water Summit, held on the campus of University of Minnesota-Morris in late January.

Water SummitThe day-long event focused on the complex issues facing Minnesota’s waters in both rural and urban areas of the state, and solutions to help improve water quality.

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MCGA is Committed to Conservation

Sustainability programs part of MCGA’s goal of becoming most environmentally responsible farmers in U.S.

Written by John Mages

As combines started rolling and harvest season 2016 began, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) unveiled an ambitious new plan to help Minnesota’s corn farmers become the most sustainable and environmentally responsible farmers in the United States.

Yes, that’s a lofty goal. But as a farmer for the last 35 years, it’s a goal I’m confident that we can achieve.

One of the action steps of MCGA’s plan encourages farmers to engage in an already existing sustainability program.

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Vietnam DDGS inspection team tours Minnesota farm and ethanol plant

A group of 13 trade delegates from Vietnam recently visited the farm of Harold Wolle in St. James, Minn., and the Poet Biorefining ethanol plant in Lake Crystal as part of a weeklong fact-finding tour. The group was impressed by the productivity of American farmers and agribusinesses, and they were reassured by seeing firsthand the quality of their products.

A major objective of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), which helped organize the trade mission,

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Minnesota corn farmer testifies at pollinator and neonic hearing

A legislative hearing last week focused on Gov. Mark Dayton’s recent executive order on protecting pollinators, specifically a section of the order that requires farmers to prove that they face “imminent danger of significant crop loss” before they can make foliar applications of neonictinoids. MDA is also requesting regulatory authority of treated seeds.

Brian Thalmann, a fifth-generation farmer near Plato, Minn., and a director on the Minnesota Corn Growers Association board, was the lone farmer to testify at the hearing.

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Farmer demonstrates benefits of stewardship practices

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

John and Jewell Peterson, and their kids Nate, Nic and Natasha, all enthusiastically joined the Minnesota Discovery Farms program six years ago. The family produces corn and soybeans in North Branch and for decades they have worked hard to conserve soil and prevent nutrients from running into the St. Croix River watershed.

“The data shows we are doing a pretty good job with the no-till,” says John Peterson.

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Access to tractor safety equipment in Minnesota just got more affordable

A new program from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture  will reimburse farmers and schools up to 70 percent of the cost of purchasing, shipping and installing tractor rollover protection kits.

The program can help cover costs up to $500 of installing a seat belt and roll bar. It also provides assistance in helping farmers identify and price the appropriate rollover kits for their tractors.

Why is this good news for Minnesota farmers?

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