Category: Sustainability

The predictive power of drones in the field

(Graduate student Dorothy Kirsch operates a drone on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Farmers today have a number of models and software within reach, but most all of them require expensive hardware, software and services with trained technicians to deliver a crop forecast.

University of Minnesota Associate Professor Candice Hirsch, leading the project supported through the Minnesota Corn Growers Association,

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Innovation Grant project takes precision agriculture to new levels

The Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program is entering its fifth year funding farmer-led research uncovering solutions that increase sustainability and profitability on the farm. One of six participants in attendance at MN Ag EXPO last month, Brian Velde is a longtime participant in the program whose work is certainly not short on innovation.

In the following segment from Linder Farm Network, learn about Velde’s project using an in-ground drip irrigation system that delivers precise amounts of nutrients and water to his corn crop,

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2020 Nitrogen Smart kicks off Jan. 21

Nitrogen Smart returns for its fifth year of bringing the nitrogen fundamentals to farmers across the state, and the 2020 schedule has the free-to-attend seminar stopping at more locations than ever.

Like last year, each location will feature two courses: One covering the fundamentals of nitrogen management followed by an advanced course, which will focus on the 4Rs of nutrient management.

The fundamental course will follow a similar curriculum to past years,

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Northfield farmer uses Innovation Grant to test precision ag services

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Sam Peterson’s farm in Northfield includes a variety of soil types, with sand, loam and clay all represented on his acres.

This soil diversity makes Peterson’s farm the perfect place to test variable rate technology (VRT)—a suite of precision agriculture tools that help farmers better manage seed and fertilizer inputs by only utilizing what is needed for each particular part of a field.

Peterson’s proposal to test each VRT program was accepted through the Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program,

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MCGA invests in developing corn-based plastics

Minnesota’s corn farmers support the University of Minnesota’s Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) in their mission to develop the next generation of bioplastics. As part of this support, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) announced it would be investing more than $460,000 in CSP research focused on the development of plastics made from renewable sources.

MCGA-supported CSP research aims to replace petroleum as a feedstock for plastics with renewable sources like corn. In doing so,

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AGREETT brings an influx of ag talent to Minnesota

Three years in, the Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Tech Transfer program (AGREETT) has led to several key hires at the University of Minnesota that will pay dividends for the long-term health of Minnesota agriculture.

“[AGREETT] has been phenomenally successful,” said Greg Cuomo, associate dean for research and graduate programs at the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). “It has given the University the opportunity to fill key positions and address problems impacting agriculture in the short and long term.”

Without AGREETT,

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AGREETT drives statewide ag innovation

In 2015, the Minnesota legislature established the Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Tech Transfer program (AGREETT) with a multi-year $5 million investment that would boost agricultural research at the University of Minnesota. Three years in, AGREETT has already made tremendous strides in its goal to achieve long-term sustainability in Minnesota agriculture.

Through AGREETT, the University of Minnesota has hired 21 faculty members in Extension and the colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Food,

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Innovation Grant Program funds 12 projects in 2019

The Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program returns for its fourth year in 2019, funding farmer-led, conservation-minded research projects. Each project will test a novel solution that prevents nitrogen and phosphorous loss on the farm. 

Farmers had until Dec. 31 to submit their Innovation Grant proposal. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council funded 12 of those for the 2019 growing season.

Participants in 2019 include both new recipients of grants and farmers who are continuing projects initially funded in past years of the program.

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Soil Health Summit takes a look at soil health by the numbers

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

In its fifth season, the Soil Health Partnership has worked with corn farmers across the United States to acquire data that assesses soil health practices on the farm.

Now equipped with years of research, SHP is ready to share the impact of those practices using numbers acquired on the farm to tell the story, according to Executive Director Shefali Mehta. She will convene SHP’s Soil Health Summit this week in St.

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Deadline to submit Innovation Grant Program proposals is Dec. 31

Minnesota corn farmers who have a conservation-minded idea they would like to put the test through the Innovation Grant Program have until Dec. 31 to submit a proposal. In its fourth year, the program has invested nearly $400,000 in 40 farmer-led research projects bringing novel solutions to prevent nitrogen loss on the farm.

The 2019 Innovation Grant Program is expanding its focus, now accepting proposals focused on innovative solutions to preventing both nitrogen and phosphorous loss to ground and surface water.

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