lisa behnken

Around the Counties: Plot Day Season Arrives

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association has 43 organized county organizations. Each of these counties has events throughout the year to help promote and educate farmers and non-farmers about soybeans. For an organization to be truly grassroots, it needs the help of many. Organized MSGA counties provide a true boots-on-the-ground approach. The efforts of these counties are truly remarkable. Around the Counties highlights some of the many things our county boards are involved in throughout the year.

Murray County Plot Day Showcases Seed Varieties and A Visit from National Radio Host, Author and Speaker: Trent Loos

trent loos

Trent Loos was the guest speaker at the Murray County plot day.

CHS, together with the Murray County Corn and Soybean Growers, recently hosted their annual plot day near Tracy, Minn., but the day featured more than just your typical plot tour.

Earlier in the day, both groups, along with area farmers and businesses, played host to 180 Murray county area third graders to educate them on farm safety. Each child learned first-hand the importance of staying back from machinery and livestock, making a 911 call and the importance of agriculture to Murray county. Farm Safety ended with a visit from Nebraska farmer, radio personality, author and speaker Trent Loos, who used his time to educate the kids on the important role of the American farmer.

In the afternoon, a large group of area farmers observed corn and seed varieties on display in the CHS plot. Seed representatives provided information on the various varieties and answered questions about the availability of high performing varieties for the 2016 growing season.

Like the kids earlier in the day, this group also heard from Loos, who spent his time challenging the group to ‘tell your story’ to the millions of consumers who look to the internet and others who are providing inaccurate and incomplete information about agriculture. Loos ended the evening praising farmers for their farming practices and efficiencies gained by sharing that today it takes just one-third of an acre to feed one person for a week. In 1900, it took five acres.

Fairbault County Farmers and Seed Managers Gather to Support Annual Plot Day

Fairbault County hosted their annual plot day on Sept. 14 at Jeff Ignaszewski’s farm outside of Wells, Minn. About 60 farmers joined District Sales Managers as they spoke about their varieties and why they submitted the varieties that they did. The Wells Chamber of Commerce was there serving root beer floats and the Faribault County Pork Producers supplied the pork chops.

Douglas and Swift County Corn and Soybean Growers donated beef to their local 4-H stand at the fair.

Food Stands Receive Livestock Donation from Counties

4-H food stands at the Douglas and Swift County fairs this year were provided beef by their local Corn & Soybean Associations and their checkoffs. For the first year, the Swift County Corn & Soybean Growers, and for the second year, the Douglas County Corn & Soybean Growers, promoted the value of livestock in their local area and showed support by providing the beef.

Posters around the food stands displayed soybean, corn and livestock facts. Livestock consumes 98 percent of the soybean meal produced in the U.S. and more than 40 percent of the corn crop produced in the U.S. Food stand customers also had the opportunity to visit with farmers and get information from the Douglas Growers about the value local farms bring to their community.

Lac qui Parle Madison Raceway Hosts Soybean Night

Race go-ers at the Madison Speedway on Saturday, Aug, 23, were able to learn more about biodiesel and its value to Minnesota drivers and farmers. The Lac Qui Parle County Corn & Soybean Growers, along with their soybean checkoff, hosted a Soybean Biodiesel Night at the speedway, and greeted race-goers with educational information and answered questions.

And the Lac Qui Parle Corn & Soybean Growers encouraged attendees to look for the “Biodiesel Blend” or “B20 Biodiesel Blend” labels at the diesel pump.

Biodiesel is the leading EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel in the country and the only Advanced Biofuel to reach one billion gallons of annual production. Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel made from domestic, renewable sources that include soybean oil. It reduces greenhouse gases and other emissions and is biodegradable. According to the American Lung Association of Minnesota, B5 removes 644 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually, which is equal to taking 34,475 vehicles off the road.

Eastern Minnesota Counties Begin Plot Day Events

During the week of Sept. 7, four Minnesota county organizations held separate plot days, inviting farmers and seed representatives to gather and talk about this year’s concerns and highlights before harvest. Goodhue/North Wabasha, Dodge, Mower and Nicollet/Sibley all invited area experts to discuss soybean pests, weeds and diseases. 

Goodhue/North Wabasha invited University of Minnesota Extension Educator Lisa Behnken to talk about waterhemp, giant ragweed and other weeds that farmers had questions about. Behnken also explained the research that Minnesota is doing in partnership with the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

Nicollet/Sibley also invited a University of Minnesota Extension Educator, with David Nicolai presenting on what is being seen in the fields.

Mower County Soil and Water Conservation District Resource Specialist Justin Hanson gave an update on the buffer law and what farmers in Mower County should expect in gearing up to reach compliance with the new laws.