Tag: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Petersen announced as next Commissioner of Agriculture

Governor-elect Tim Walz announced the appointment of Thom Petersen as the next Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture earlier today. Currently government relations director for Minnesota Farmers Union, Petersen will succeed Dave Frederickson, who was appointed commissioner by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011.

Following today’s announcement, Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Brian Thalmann released the following statement:

“The state’s corn growers would like to congratulate Thom Petersen on his appointment to commissioner of agriculture.

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Minnesota Department of Agriculture launches resource for farmers dealing with stress

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture launched MinnesotaFarmStress.com as a quick way to find people and organizations that are able to help Minnesota farmers and farm families with unique challenges on the farm.

At MinnesotaFarmStress.com, visitors can clearly see the various resources available to help with financial, emotional, legal, family and other challenges on the farm.

Resources include the Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline at 833-600-2670, which is answered 24/7 by staff who are trained to help farmers who are struggling with stress or depression.

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ALJ report concludes Groundwater Protection Rule may move forward

The Office of Administrative Hearings issued its report with respect to the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule on Monday, concluding that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) may move forward with the proposed rule, subject to a few required modifications.

In August, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) testified and submitted comments showing that the additional regulations were not necessary at this time. While the administrative law judge ruled the Groundwater Protection Rule should move forward,

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Minnesota Harvest

Following major storm, disaster aid being considered for farmers in southern MN

In response to major storms sweeping across southern Minnesota last night, farmers in the region may be interested in resources that will help with their recovery efforts. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have programs in place to provide aid to farmers in recovery, but first a disaster declaration will need to be made to make both accessible.

MDA’s Disaster Recovery Loan Program offers funds to farmers for expenses not covered by insurance.

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Nitrogen fertilizer application

MCGA testifies on Groundwater Protection Rule; Comment period extended to Aug. 15

Administrative Law Judge hearings on the Groundwater Protection Rule began Monday in Farmington, and Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Kirby Hettver was on hand to provide testimony on behalf of the state’s corn growers.

Prior to Hettver’s testimony, officials announced the written comment period for the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule was extended until Aug. 15, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. For farmers who are unable to attend a hearing, the additional two weeks provides more time to submit written comments during the busy summer months.

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Groundwater Protection Rule: Your input is needed

The formal rulemaking process for the Groundwater Protection Rule continues to move forward. Five public Administrative Law Judge hearings will be held around the state starting next week and written comments on the proposed  rule may be submitted through August 2. It is vital all corn farmers engage in this process and provide comment to ensure the rule accomplishes its goal of protecting the state’s groundwater while making sense in implementation.

To help growers stay up to date on the rule and better understand the formal rulemaking process,

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Zero-interest loans available to farmers still recovering from last week’s rain

The wet summer for farmers in southern Minnesota hit a new level last week with torrential downpours making lakes of countless crop acres. Now a week later, the stage of recovery varies greatly through the region.

Near Walnut Grove in Cottonwood County, Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) board member Jean Knakmuhs said her farm received as much as 15 inches of rain Tuesday morning. Area rivers are well over their banks, causing severe flooding in area farm fields.

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Nitrogen fertilizer application

Groundwater Protection Rule: What’s next?

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule – previously referred to as the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule – on April 24, 2018. The Groundwater Protection Rule was formally published in the Minnesota State Register on April 30th, followed by an 80-day comment period.

The proposed Groundwater Protection Rule, the statement of need and reasonableness, appendixes for the statement of need and reasonableness and the notice of public hearings are listed on the MDA website here. 

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MCGA Leadership: Stop spreading myths about the Groundwater Protection Rule

Last week, the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule was finally released for farmers to review and comment. While the rule has only recently been the focus of disdain from some in Minnesota agriculture, it has been in the making for nearly 30 years with significant input from agricultural organizations along the way.

Suffice to say, the Groundwater Protection Rule is not going away.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has been involved with the development of the rule,

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A proactive approach to water quality

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association and its grower leaders are working towards a goal to become the most sustainable and environmentally responsible corn farmers in the nation. A major part of that goal is to continuously improve the measures implemented by farmers to protect our state’s water supply.

Minnesota’s corn growers are investing in research and education to better manage their use of nitrogen fertilizer. Since 2014, the state’s corn farmers have invested more than $6 million of their own funds through the corn check-off in education and research that improves nitrogen management strategies to reduce nitrate loss in water.

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