Conservation practices help celebrate Earth Day

Indiana’s state conservationist says Earth Day is an opportunity to educate the public that farmers utilize conservation practices that make a positive impact on the land and the environment. Natural Resources Conservation Services Jane Hardisty says she hopes the public understands the role the land plays in where their food comes from and their ability… Read more »

Farmer input requested on Michigan’s voluntary environmental program

This is the last week for farmers to respond to a statewide survey on Michigan’s voluntary assurance program. Scott Lonier was first verified with the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) in 2010 and is currently serving as the program’s incentives taskforce chairman. He tells Brownfield the survey is for all farmers to share their… Read more »

Illinois map highlights conservation farmers

Several farm and conservation groups have launched an online conservation map in Illinois to highlight farmers who are implementing conservation practices. “The map is really a way to showcase their efforts in conservation and sustainability practices,” said Caroline Wade, nutrient watershed manager for the Illinois Corn Growers Association, “as well as provide a resource to… Read more »

Conservation is expensive

A southeast Minnesota farmer says conservation is expensive. In the last few years, Tom Hoekstra of rural Plainview has invested in protecting the environment on his farm. “To hire contractors to come out with excavators and bulldozers is very expensive.  I found that out on my first project because I couldn’t get cost share for… Read more »

Certification validates conservation efforts

A southeast Minnesota farmer says it’s nice to have a program that recognizes conservation efforts on his farm. Eric Kline of Elgin tells Brownfield the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification validates environmental practices that have been in place on his farm for decades. “We already kind of feel like we’re at the top tier (for… Read more »

Voluntary water quality assessment for Minnesota farmers

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is helping farmers determine if elements within their operation pose a threat to water quality. Brad Redlin manages the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification program. “We look at the different practices out there, whether it’s nutrient management, tillage (or) what structural practices are there or have been (there) to see… Read more »

Cover the brown spots

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They can build soil health, reduce erosion and improve water quality. An extension educator says if there’s a brown gap in your field, fill it with a cover crop.  Michigan State University Extension Educator Paul Gross tells Brownfield frost seeding red clover into winter wheat fields is a practice that’s been going on for decades…. Read more »

Clarifying buffer rule legislation advancing

The Minnesota House and Senate are advancing companion bills that provide clarification to the controversial buffer rule. House Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) ag finance lead Jeanne Poppe says a major component of the legislation has to do with jurisdiction. “If it’s a watershed district, the county, or if it’s the Board of Water and… Read more »

Spudmobile takes potato farming on the road

The Wisconsin Spudmobile offers consumers a field to fork experience with its high-tech mobile education center as it travels the Midwest. Jim Zdroik, coordinator of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association’s Spudmobile, tells Brownfield they want consumers to know how food is produced.  “We had 90 some odd plus events for the Spudmobile last year… Read more »

Interseeding red clover into winter wheat

An extension educator says there’s still time to interseed cover crops in winter wheat fields. Paul Gross with Michigan State University Extension tells Brownfield this season warmed fields up faster than usual, but farmers can still plant red clover as things begin dry out a bit.  “With the clover, we can get anywhere from 30 to… Read more »