Tag: Water Quality

Minnesota farmer works to plant cover crops while side-dressing nitrogen fertilizer

Spend a few minutes visiting with Keith Hartmann, a 27-year-old, fourth-generation family farmer in Gibbon, Minn., and his passion for agriculture and clean water quickly becomes apparent. Hartmann is using that passion to move forward on a unique project that he hopes will make cover crops a more realistic option for farmers in Minnesota’s chilly climate.

By mid-June, Hartmann plans to have a piece of equipment ready that will plant cover crops while side-dressing nitrogen fertilizer,

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Minnesota Corn Growers announce Conservation Innovation Grant recipients

MNcorn_PMSWith a boost from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s (MCGA) new Conservation Innovation Grant program, five farmers will be implementing a new conservation practice to better manage nitrogen fertilizer and protect water quality on their farms this growing season. Another Minnesota farmer is receiving funding to host a field day and showcase existing conservation efforts to other area farmers.

A total of $39,000 was awarded to help farmers 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,

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Legislative update: Buffers, budgets, BWSR and more

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Senior Public Policy Director

Before getting into this week’s legislative update, I’d like to personally thank all the legislators, farmer-leaders, agency staff and other leaders who attended the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Legislative Reception on April 6. It was great to connect with so many legislators, hear from several commissioners and talk food and farming with other leaders from throughout Minnesota.

Pictures and details from the event can be seen here.

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More than 350 farmers became "Nitrogen Smart" this spring

A series of “Nitrogen Smart” sessions throughout Minnesota drew more than 350 farmers to learn more about a topic important to both farmers and non-farmers: managing nitrogen fertilizer more efficiently.

“Nitrogen is a hot topic right now,” said Brad Carlson, a University of Minnesota Extension educator who presented at each of the eight “Nitrogen Smart” sessions. “It was great to see so many farmers come out and participate. If you couldn’t attend,

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Minnesota Corn Growers are funding research efforts to help farmers better manage nitrogen fertilizer

Over the last nine years, Minnesota’s corn farmers have greatly increased their investment in research efforts to use nitrogen fertilizer more efficiently and effectively. Since 2007, 34 projects addressing nitrogen fertilizer management have been supported using funds from Minnesota’s corn check-off, a voluntary one-cent “fee” paid by corn farmers for every bushel sold to market.

Of those 34 projects, 22 are currently active and in progress.

“The goal of our nitrogen fertilizer research is to protect water quality and improve efficiency while maintaining productivity,” said Dr.

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A day to discuss the science of cover crops: The 2016 University of Minnesota Production Ag Symposium

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Cover crops are not always an easy fit in Minnesota farms. But more science is being done annually to help farmers see the benefit, and to find useful ways to manage cover crops to eliminate yield risks while maximizing environmental benefits.

Hundreds of graduate agriculture students and professors gathered last week at the University of Minnesota agriculture campus in St. Paul to hear about these latest scientific research findings.

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Legislative Update: Buffers, property taxes and Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway

Property tax relief for farmers continues moving forward, there are new developments with buffer legislation and a Vikings linebacker expressed his support for ethanol. All of that, and more, in this week’s legislative update, so let’s get right to it:

Buffers
Let’s start this legislative update off the way we start most updates: With news about buffer legislation.

The House had two committee hearings on buffer legislation last week, one in the environment committee and one in the agriculture committee.

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The Minnesota Corn Growers are expanding research into cover crops

With support from Minnesota’s corn farmers, the University of Minnesota (U of M) is set to kick off two new research projects focused on cover crops.

The new projects, funded by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA), focus on the potential for cover crop mixes throughout the state to reduce nitrogen fertilizer in waterways and in tile drainage systems.

“Minnesota’s cool climate and short growing season makes using cover crops challenging in many parts of the state,” said Dr.

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Legislative update: Buffers, cover crops, pollinators and GMO labeling

The Minnesota legislative session is moving right along, including several items that impact Minnesota’s corn farmers. Here’s an update on a few items that came up last week and will be coming up this week:

State

  • A bill authored by Sen. Rod Skoe that would alter the new buffer law advanced to the Senate Environment Committee. It’s companion bill on the House side, carried by Rep. Paul Torkelson, is set to be heard on Wednesday in the House Environment Committee.

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Minnesota Corn Growers focus on taxes, buffers during Day on the Hill

With the legislative session currently in full swing, 22 grower-leaders from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) spent Tuesday, March 15 at the Capitol in St. Paul talking property taxes, buffers and other agriculture issues during MCGA’s Day on the Hill.

“Our top priority this session is property tax relief,” said Raymond farmer and MCGA president Noah Hultgren. “There seems to be bi-partisan support on this issue, so it’s important that we keep reminding legislators how essential tax relief is to both the farm and overall rural economy.”

Resolving the private ditch issue and clarifying other items on the new buffer legislation was also a prominent topic.

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