Tag: USDA

MN corn farmers talk WOTUS, ethanol and GMO labeling in Washington D.C.

Several farmer-leaders from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) spent the week of July 13 in Washington D.C. attending Corn Congress and meeting with key policymakers and elected officials on Capitol Hill about important agriculture issues.

In addition to meeting with nearly every member of Minnesota’s congressional and senate delegation, MCGA farmer-leaders also met with key USDA officials and Rep. Mike Conway, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

“Whenever we’re in Washington,

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USDA extends deadline to update base acres or yield history and other news from Commodity Classic

The 20th annual Commodity Classic is underway in Phoenix and several Minnesota Corn Growers Association grower-leaders are in attendance. Here is a quick summary of some of the corn-centric news to come out of Classic so far:

  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will provide a one-time extension to farmers for the new safety-net programs (known as ARC and PLC) established in the 2014 farm bill. The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended from Feb.

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MCGA Radio: USDA's Rural Energy for America Program

On this week’s MCGA Radio, USDA Rural Development state director Colleen Landkamer shared details on the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides funding to help farmers and rural small businesses install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.

Since 2009, 862 small business and farmers in Minnesota have used $33 million in REAP loan guarantees and grants to install solar panels, wind turbines, energy-efficient refrigeration, geothermal heating systems,

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With $9 million from USDA, Water Quality Certification goes statewide

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Twenty-eight farmers signed up for and helped tweak Minnesota’s Ag Water Quality Certification program during its pilot phase. Now the program will be open to farmers in every watershed in Minnesota, thanks to a $9 million dollar grant from the USDA.

Two farm families who took part in the pilot helped announce the expanded program on Wednesday at the Orville Freeman building in Saint Paul — the headquarters of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

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Is USDA's projection for Minnesota's 2014 corn harvest too high?

The latest USDA report projects a record corn crop of over 14 million bushels in 2014. The report predicts Minnesota corn farmers will harvest 1.34 billion bushels, slightly more than last year but not quite as high as 2012’s record.

After a soggy start to this year’s planting season that prevented many Minnesota corn farmers from getting into fields and washed some crops out entirely, USDA’s projections for Minnesota might seem too optimistic.

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68 percent of Minnesota corn crop in good to excellent condition

The latest USDA crop progress report says 68 percent of the Minnesota corn crop is in good to excellent condition. The report also said 61 percent of corn was at or beyond the silking stage, 10 points behind the five-year average.

Farmers in southern Minnesota could use a little bit of rain to boost moisture levels while many northern Minnesota farmers were hit with heavy rains last week.

Thank you to all the farmers who persevered through a wet and cold spring this year.

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Minnesota's prevented planting dates for corn approaching

Unfortunately, Mother Nature has delayed corn planting once again this spring. Farmers who can’t even get in the fields due to the cold and wet spring may end up using the prevented planting coverage of their crop insurance policy.

Prevented planting occurs when an insured crop fails to get planted by the final planting date designated in the insurance policy. For the southern two-thirds of Minnesota, the final plant date for corn is May 31 (June 10 for soybeans) in order to receive full crop insurance coverage for 2014.

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Mother Nature keeping Minnesota corn farmers out of the field

Mother Nature hit corn farmers with a left hook in the form of a winter that would never end. Now she’s delivering an uppercut with day after day of rain and more cold temperatures.

Good thing Minnesota corn farmers can take a punch.

After a slow start, corn planting has bogged down in recent days due to constant rain and another blast of cold temperatures. Only 4 percent of the corn crop is in the ground according to the latest USDA crop progress report.

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USDA releases before and after of the 2014 Farm Bill

USDA has released a document highlighting some of the differences between the previous farm bill and the recently passed 2014 farm bill.

Notable differences on the farm safety net provisions include:

  • Direct payments are eliminated
  • Farmers will now choose between Price Loss Coverage and Agricultural Risk Coverage

The new farm bill also consolidates several conservation programs and links basic conservation practices to crop insurance premium subsidies on highly erodible lands and wetlands.

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Minnesota Farmers are top users of USDA Conservation Program

More farmers in Minnesota than any other state have used a voluntary USDA program that aims to improve, maintain and expand on-farm conservation practices.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and encourages farmers to take measurable steps to improve soil, water quality, wildlife habitat and other conservation efforts.

Since the CSP program began in 2009, nearly 2 million acres of Minnesota farmland has been enrolled.

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