Tag: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

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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Minnesota’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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Minnesota ethanol sales set records in 2017

The Minnesota Department of Commerce released its year-end station report outlining ethanol-blended fuel sales for 2017. The numbers detail the building momentum behind ethanol-blended fuels in Minnesota.

First, 2017 was a banner year for E15, which totaled more than 19 million gallons in sales. Compare that volume to 2016 when 5.7 million gallons were sold, and it is more than a 230-percent increase year-over-year. More than 4.6 million gallons were sold in December 2017 alone.

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MDA brings rural mental health education to professionals of all backgrounds

In response to stressful times for farmers, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be hosting “Down on the Farm” seminars for anyone who interacts with farmers on a regular basis. The goal is to help professionals of all backgrounds in rural areas recognize mental and emotional distress in the farming community and employ strategies that help farmers in stressful situations.

“People who don’t interact with farmers will find out more about what makes them tick and the potential stresses in their life,” said Meg Moynihan,

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Census of Agriculture distributed to Minnesota farmers

The 2017 Census of Agriculture will begin hitting farmers’ mailboxes this week, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture looks to update its information on land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures.

Conducted once every five years, the Census of Agriculture is sent to approximately 3 million U.S. producers, including nearly 100,000 growers in Minnesota. Farmers are being asked to fill out the census questionnaire online using instructions found on the mailed portion or return it completed by mail.

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Minnesota Department of Ag offers helpline for stressed farmers

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture unveiled the Farm & Rural Helpline this fall as a resource for Minnesota farmers and rural residents under stress. The free, confidential service is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

While MDA long offered a crisis line to farmers, Meg Moynihan, state programs administrator principal with MDA, said the service was retooled and relaunched as the Farm & Rural Helpline to reach farmers before stress becomes a more serious crisis.

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ALAMN Station Event

E15 hits an important milestone in Minnesota

Earlier this month an important milestone was hit in the world of ethanol when total locations selling E15 surpassed 200.

The road to the milestone began in October 2013 when the first E15 station was installed in Minnesota. By the end of 2014, there were 17 E15 locations statewide. Totals approximately double each year, until 2017 when stations went from 72 to an expected 225 by year’s end.

The rapid growth has been a joint effort by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA),

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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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