Tag: USDA

NCGA President Skunes reflects on year of highs and lows

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council welcomed National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Kevin Skunes to its joint board meeting last week. For Skunes, it was an opportunity to recap what was a tumultuous year for NCGA as it worked to overcome federal issues impacting the nation’s corn farmers.

Skunes, who farms in Arthur, N.D., said when his one-year term started last October he envisioned the farm bill would occupy the majority of his efforts.

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USDA: Minnesota farmers decrease corn acreage in 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Prospective Plantings Report forecasts a 7-percent decrease in Minnesota corn acres planted in 2018. Nationally, corn acres are expected to decrease 2 percent. Of the 48 estimating states, 33 are forecasted to decrease or maintain corn acreage this spring.

In comparison, soybean acres are forecasted to decrease 2 percent this year in Minnesota. Nationally, a 1-percent drop in planted acres is expected. Wheat acres planted are expected to increase 38 percent in Minnesota and 3 percent nationally.

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Potential changes to RFS harm nation’s corn growers

Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue (right) speaks with corn farmers at Commodity Classic

UPDATE TO THE BELOW POST:

Reports are now surfacing that a meeting will take place Monday to negotiate potential changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It is expected the meeting will include both supporters of the ethanol and the oil industry, including lawmakers and executives from each.

Potential outcomes from this meeting may include devastating changes to the RFS that would greatly impact the nation’s corn growers,

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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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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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U.S. Grains Council: Pace of NAFTA talks not unusual, but worth monitoring

The fourth round of NAFTA renegotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico ended earlier this month with little progress made in efforts to revamp the free trade agreement. The stalled negotiations have been a source of worry for farmers, who are understandably concerned about tariffs in a non-NAFTA world.

Not so fast, however, according to Thomas Sleight, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council.

Sleight said four rounds of negotiations with little progress is actually fairly normal in renegotiating a trade deal of this size.

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Grain Bin

U.S. Grains Council on 2017 trade during World Trade Month

For World Trade Month, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association spoke with U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight on the latest from our nation’s capital and what to expect in what will be a crucial year for the corn export market.

Shortly before the calendar switched over to May, a report came from the White House that wasn’t necessarily in the spirit of the trade appreciation month, as President Donald Trump publicly considered withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.

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2017 Legislative Update

Legislative update: Rural issues remain top of mind

Significant farm and rural issues are receiving considerable attention at the State Capitol and earlier committee deadlines this year are contributing to a faster pace of bill introductions and committee discussions. Here’s a quick update on some of the key issues of interest to corn farmers.

Water Quality

On Friday, Feb. 3, at the Minnesota Environmental Congress, Gov. Dayton announced that he wanted a “25 by 25” plan concerning Minnesota’s water resources – a 25-percent improvement in water quality by the year 2025.

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USDA-NASS Logo

Farmers: Remember to complete NASS surveys

The confidential crop survey from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be arriving in your mailbox soon—and it’s very important that you take the time to complete it.

The number of farmers completing the NASS survey has been declining in recent years, and that’s bad news for farmers. Survey results are important in determining the implementation of farm payments and programs—from the Agriculture Risk Coverage Program (county option) to the Price Loss Coverage Program—even farm appraisals.

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