Private ditches removed from Buffer Rule

The leader of a Minnesota farm organization says Governor Dayton’s decision to remove private ditches from his Buffer Rule brings clarity to farmers and landowners. Late last week Dayton asked the Department of Natural Resources to stop mapping private drainage ditches as part of the Rule’s jurisdiction. Minnesota Farm Bureau president Kevin Paap tells Brownfield… Read more »

USDA Cover Crop Chart

  The USDA has developed a decision aid that helps farmers interested in using cover crops. USDA research soil scientist says the Cover Crop Chart is simply a pdf file listing 58 different cover crops. “It’s sort of a visual interface of all the different cover crops that are possible that can be used in… Read more »

What do consumers want?

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The Center for Food Integrity says consumers want to know about the ethics of agriculture, not the science. Executive Director Terry Fleck tells Brownfield their 2015 consumer research survey on transparency found that consumers are most concerned about food safety, diet and health, and farming practices. “People really want to speak to farmers—they trust farmers… Read more »

Growmark launches sustainability initiative

The director of agronomy marketing at Growmark says its new sustainability initiative stands on three pillars. Ron Milby tells Brownfield the Endure program takes into account the social and environmental aspects of sustainability, but really focuses on the economic component. “That really aligns with our mission statement of improving the long-term profitability of our member-owners. … Read more »

Using DNA to track water quality

DNA technology is helping track water pollutants from not only humans, but cattle. Water pollution microbiologist Dr. Joan Rose with Michigan State University tells Brownfield new research is using microbial source tracking technology to track DNA in the water. “We want to know when does the cow marker show up in the water and what… Read more »

Get comfortable talking about the ethics

The Center for Food Integrity says consumers want to know about the ethics of agriculture, not the science. Executive Director Terry Fleck tells Brownfield their 2015 consumer research survey on transparency found that consumers are most concerned about food safety, diet and health, and farming practices. “People really want to speak to farmers—they trust farmers… Read more »

USDA has funds for wetlands mitigation banks

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Nine-million dollars is available to set up agriculture-only Wetland Mitigation banks. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says it’s money authorized by Congress through the 2014 Farm Bill. Vilsack says mitigation banks can be a helpful tool for farmers, “Where producers can purchase credits generated from previously drained wetlands which are restored and approved for wetland mitigation… Read more »

Cutting fertilizers to save on inputs

A USDA researcher says farmers might already have enough phosphorus for 2016. Kevin King with USDA’s Soil Drainage Research Unit in Ohio has been researching how crop nutrients move through drainage systems since 2011. He tells Brownfield last spring’s heavy rainfall and warm August created the largest algae bloom in Lake Erie on record, but… Read more »

Time for Minnesota farmers to defend themselves

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association president Paul Freeman says during MSGA’s delegate session Wednesday morning, the need for farmers to defend themselves in 2016 was addressed.  

Great Lakes Crop Summit unites commodities

Michigan’s crop commodities have joined forces for the Great Lakes Crop Summit. Coordinator Natalie Rector with Michigan Corn tells Brownfield the Great Lakes Crop Summit started as a way to combine educational programs for farmers.  “This is the third year for this where the corn, wheat and soybean commodity groups have come together to put… Read more »