Tag: USDA

USDA Under Secretary Alexis Taylor visits Minnesota crop farm

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

What would you do? What would you say? If you had the opportunity to host a top official from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on your family farm?

For an hour on Wednesday, Plato, Minn., farmer Brian Thalmann, his dad Randall, and his son Adam, visited with Alexis Taylor, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at USDA. Taylor is the official directly in charge of the farm program,

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Corn planted so far in Minnesota would cover 757,575 football fields

Pestorious.2015-0693According to the latest USDA crop progress report, Minnesota had 5.1 days suitable for field work last week. Minnesota farmers wasted no time in taking advantage of the warm and dry weather to start planting corn — corn that will put food on our plates, fuel in our vehicle’s tanks and used as an input in thousands of consumer products such as tennis shoes and sun screen.

Thirteen percent of Minnesota’s corn crop —

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Market drives planting intentions: Some stick with the tried and true while others try to reduce costs

Pestorious.2015-0693A quick (unscientific) survey of Minnesota corn growers reveals that the market is very much behind the decision-making process, but for some that means staying the course, while others seek means to lower their costs.

Myron ‘Mickey’ Peterson, who farms with four brothers in Sacred Heart, Minn., says they plan to stick with what has been working for them for a number of years: the same corn and soybean varieties, planted in a 50/50 rotation on about the same amount of land — roughly 3,000 acres among the five partners.

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USDA: Ethanol produces twice the amount of energy it consumes

The crowd that’s always trying to tear down ethanol constantly pushes the myth that ethanol requires more energy to make than it creates. The myth has been disproven time and again, but that’s never stopped the anti-ethanol zealots before.

Well, maybe a new USDA study finally slow them down.

The report is called “2015 Energy Balance For The Corn-Ethanol Industry” and concludes that ethanol has, on average a 2:1 energy ratio.

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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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