Tag: Water Quality

MCGA is Committed to Conservation

Sustainability programs part of MCGA’s goal of becoming most environmentally responsible farmers in U.S.

Written by John Mages

As combines started rolling and harvest season 2016 began, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) unveiled an ambitious new plan to help Minnesota’s corn farmers become the most sustainable and environmentally responsible farmers in the United States.

Yes, that’s a lofty goal. But as a farmer for the last 35 years, it’s a goal I’m confident that we can achieve.

One of the action steps of MCGA’s plan encourages farmers to engage in an already existing sustainability program.

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No-Till at the Wolle Farm

Corn Growers recommend conservation practices to achieve ambitious sustainability goal

Written by Harold Wolle

On my farm in St. James, I am proud to have implemented several conservation practices that protect water quality, improve soil health and preserve wildlife habitat. I am also proud to serve as President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA), and lead the organization’s new initiative to make Minnesota corn farmers the most sustainable and environmentally responsible in the United States.

I must admit,

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MCGA: We will become the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn farmers in the U.S.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) announced today its intentions to implement an ambitious set of initiatives with the goal of making Minnesota corn farmers the most sustainable and environmentally responsible in the United States.

In making the announcement, MCGA President Harold Wolle said: “This is a grassroots, farmer-driven effort that addresses values shared by both farmers and non-farmers. It’s a lofty goal. But we believe the approximately 25,000 corn farmers MCGA represents are already making great strides in achieving it.

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$1.1 Million grant funds farmer-driven water quality research

Farmers believe that raising food efficiently goes hand in hand with taking good care of the soil and the water.

The farmer-funded Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) has received its first major grant from an outside organization— a $1.1 million grant to fund a project called “Developing Diagnostics to Improve Water Quality and Soil Health on Tile Drained Lands in Minnesota and Wisconsin.” The money comes from USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

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Farmers foster soil health to fight wind erosion

Talking soil health on Bryan Biegler's farm near Lake Wilson.

Talking soil health on Bryan Biegler’s farm near Lake Wilson.

On Thursday, despite rain and the threat of thunder, a group of farmers crowded around a pit dug in the midst of row crops almost ready to harvest. They were eager to hear about techniques to assure the health of the soil on their farms for generations to come.

Two soil experts pointed out the layer-cake quality and texture found in healthy soil.

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Corn Growers and Gopher Sports teaming up again in 2016-17

IMG_8385The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and the University of Minnesota share a longstanding partnership in the areas of research, conservation and economic impact. Once again in 2016-17, that partnership is extending to the football field and hockey rink.

In an effort to connect with a mostly non-farming audience, MCGA is partnering with Gopher Sports. The partnership includes radio spots during games, segment sponsorships, monetary donations focused on conservation and a corn-themed Zamboni.

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MCGA offering conservation innovation grants for the second year

Minnesota corn farmers will 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 better manage nitrogen, protect water quality, or compare farming measuring tools are being accepted through Dec. 15, 2016.

MCGA, working alongside the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC), is offering a total of $255,000 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,

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Taking the kura (clover) cure

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

It seems odd to say that after 10 years, they are still at the early stages of research into kura clover. Used as a perennial cover crop, it offers a promising addition to corn and soybean production systems, but there are still a lot of questions to ask.

Here at the largest of the University of Minnesota Extension Service Outreach and Research Center (4,000 acres-plus),

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An update on the Little Rock Creek sustainable groundwater use planning project

A group of about two dozen residents of Morrison and Benton counties held its fifth meeting with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) late last month to discuss issues surrounding groundwater and water quality concerns in and around Little Rock Creek. The DNR hopes to use feedback from the group to develop a plan to guide groundwater management in the area for the next five years.

Group members expressed concern that irrigators were being unfairly singled out as the cause of problems on Little Creek.

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Sediment research will help direct farmer stewardship

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Knowing where sediment comes from will ultimately help us devise ways to reduce the amount of sediment that impacts the biological health and recreational value of Minnesota’s waterways.

For the past five years, Patrick Belmont, a watershed scientist from Utah State University, has worked to ‘fingerprint’ the sediment in the Root River Watershed, a system of rivers and streams draining an area the size of Delaware in southeast Minnesota.

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