Tag: Water Quality

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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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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2017 Minnesota Session

MCGA sets its priorities for 2018 Minnesota legislative session

Legislators from across Minnesota reconvened in St. Paul Tuesday for the start of the 2018 legislative session. While it was once thought this year’s session would be quiet due to upcoming elections, important issues like tax conformity are now taking center stage for what will be another eventful few months.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and its grower leaders identified the following as its legislative priorities for the 2018 session:

Enacting State tax reform and federal conformity: The passage of federal tax reform in December 2017 presents an opportunity for Minnesota to update its state tax code,

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Finding the ‘just right’ volume of cover crop growth

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

How can farmers get the maximum benefit from cover crops in a corn-soybean operation? One scientist tackled the topic at the Fourth Annual Minnesota Nitrogen Management Conference, held recently in St. Cloud.

Matt Ruark, an associate professor in soil fertility and nutrient management at the University of Wisconsin, has been looking at a number of cover crop species, including winter rye, spring barley and various clovers.

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Setting the stage for profitability: Best management practices

By investing in the Minnesota corn check-off, our state’s corn farmers are setting the stage for profitability. While low commodity prices are a point of stress, allocating resources to improving the areas we can control is more important than ever. Over the coming weeks, we will be highlighting how your investment is doing just that.

Minnesota’s corn growers are working towards becoming the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn farmers in the nation.

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draft Nitrogen Rule

2018 Nitrogen Smart dates announced

The 2018 Nitrogen Smart program will kick off Feb. 14 this year with an 11-city tour of educational seminars on nitrogen management. Supported by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, more than 600 farmers have already attended the seminars to learn about the latest research on efficient nitrogen management practices that not only reduce environmental impacts, but also costs for the farmer.

For example, after attending seminars in the first two years of the program,

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Setting the stage for profitability

By Kirby Hettver, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

In a time of low commodity prices, the future can be difficult to envision as we focus on making the most of our crop today. At the same time, it is crucial we continue to put the pieces in place for future success in the areas we can control.

The investment you and your fellow farmers make in the Minnesota corn check-off is setting the stage for improved profitability.

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Minnesota corn farm-Summer 2016

2018 Innovation Grant Program proposal deadline is Dec. 15

Minnesota corn farmers once again have the opportunity to put their innovative conservation ideas into action through the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s (MCGA) Innovation Grant Program. Proposals on how to reduce nitrate loss, improve soil health, and protect water quality are being accepted through Dec.15, 2017.

MCGA, working alongside the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC), is offering a total of $300,000 in Innovation Grants to any Minnesota corn farmer seeking to test or develop an innovative or best practice in the following areas:

  • Nitrate loss reduction
  • Improved nitrogen management practices for Minnesota soils
  • Maintaining or improving water quality
  • Innovative soil conservation practices
  • Comparing and contrasting the measurable values of large data set decision tools

In 2017,

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National Geographic shares the stories of nation’s corn farmers

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) partnered with National Geographic this fall to share the stories of America’s corn farmers with a robust national audience. Four farmers, including Minnesota’s Bryan Biegler, were visited by the magazine over the summer, and their stories will be told on NationalGeographic.com and its social channels through November.

The campaign features four articles, each of which profile one farmer detailing the impact of innovation and technology on corn farming.

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Innovation Grant Spotlight: Keith Hartmann

The 2017 Innovation Grant Program is well underway, with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) investing more than $250,000 in 23 farmer-led projects focused on conservation. Throughout the summer we have been highlighting ongoing projects focused on how to better manage nitrogen and protect water quality.

Keith Hartmann is in his second year of participating in the Innovation Grant Program. The Gibbon farmer joined in year one to test interseeding cover crops in between corn rows while applying nitrogen in the same pass.

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