More than 800,000 acres enrolled through CRP

USDA Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says more than 800,000 acres will be enrolled through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) this year. Vilsack tells Brownfield CRP has become very competitive due to a cap set in the 2014 Farm Bill. “In an effort to save money, Congress has limited us to 24 million acres.  And I… Read more »

Minnesota Corn Growers offer free nitrate screenings

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is offering free nitrate screenings this month. MCGA field coordinator Cara Soukup says the process is confidential and easy to do. “You just grab one cup of the sample that you want to bring in.  If it’s under 24 hours (from when the sample was taken), bring it in… Read more »

Is a bioreactor right for your farm?

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  A water quality professor at the university of Illinois says bioreactors are gaining popularity across the corn belt, but they aren’t for everyone.              

US/Europe dismiss assertions by Greenpeace

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The U.S. and Europe have dismissed claims by the environmental group Greenpeace that the proposed T-TIP trade agreement would lower environmental and food safety standards. Greenpeace claims it obtained confidential documents from the Transatlantic “T-TIP” trade agreement negotiations. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office says it won’t comment on “the validity of alleged leaks” and that… Read more »

Rethinking the carbon reduction value of corn ethanol

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A South Dakota farmer and ethanol industry leader says corn ethanol continues to be unfairly penalized in low carbon fuel markets. Ron Alverson, president of the American Coalition for Ethanol board of directors, says current carbon intensity models for biofuels do not fully recognize the positive effect that corn has on soil organic matter. “They… Read more »

South Dakota Corn Growers hires sustainability director

The South Dakota Corn Growers Association now has a staff director of sustainability.  The group hired biologist and conservationist Jim Ristau to the newly created position.  He’s to work with farmers on conservation programs, perform public outreach, conduct research trials and present field demonstrations. Although the organization is based in Sioux Falls, Ristau will be… Read more »

CropLife: EPA’s opening of settled science political

The president of CropLife America says the EPA is trying to reopen settled science on pesticides, saying its part of that agencies political agenda against farmers. Jay Vroom tells Brownfield that two previous independent panels called by EPA rejected a New York study that said the ag chemical chlorpyrifos is a health risk to children,… Read more »

Campbell’s plans to label in favor of GMOs

A spokesman for Campbell’s Soup says the state of Vermont has brought the GMO labeling debate front and center. Senior Food Law Counsel Steve Armstrong says Campbell’s was the first food company to support mandatory GMO labeling.  “We believe that GMOs are safe, we believe that they are playing a critically important role in the… Read more »

Wildlife is ‘coming back’

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The Natural Resources Conservation Service says wildlife populations are rebounding with the help of farmers and ranchers. NRCS Chief Jason Weller told farm broadcasters Tuesday the past 18 months has been historic for the country’s wildlife.  “We’re starting to see huge changes in the landscape in terms of wildlife populations, in particularly for some at risk… Read more »

Bioreactors becoming a more viable water quality option

A professor at the University of Illinois says bioreactors are a proven water quality improvement option for farmers. Dr. Laura Christianson tells Brownfield the technology is about 20 years old, and there are currently 50 to 70 bioreactors across the Midwest. “The simplest way to describe (a bioreactor) is a trench filled with wood chips… Read more »