Invasive species

Exploring an invasive problem for rural and urban communities

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I attended the Minnesota Water Resources Conference. This conference is put on by the University of Minnesota’s Water Resource Center. The topics vary from lakes and wetlands to low impact development, outreach, fish and nutrients. The event was attended by more than 500 individuals from varied backgrounds. Read more

Water Resources

MAWRC holding info meeting for member organization staff

The Minnesota Agriculture Water Resource Coalition (MAWRC) is hosting a discussion and farm tour 1 p.m to 4 p.m., Oct. 29 for all member organization staff interested in learning about the Discovery Farms program.

MAWRC staff will be discussing outreach efforts and providing guidance in creating an organization’s water related outreach efforts.

Participants should plan to meet at the Minnesota Soybean office, 151 St. Andrews Ct, Suite 710, Mankato. After 1 p.m. introductions, the group will travel to a Discovery Farms location south of Mankato before returning to the Minnesota Soybean office to continue the discussion.

Interested participants should RSVP Warren Formo at

Soybean Quality, Customer Relationship Importance of Asian Visits

A group of soybean purchasers and quality assessors from China and Indonesia passed through Minnesota early this week to observe the quality and yield of this year’s soybean crop while visiting local farms. The farm visits were part of the AGP-SRDC harvest tour and sampling survey on behalf of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council in partnership with AGP. Read more

Soybean Harvest

Poll: Soybean harvest nearing halfway mark

Minnesota soybean farmers are moving closer to the half-way mark, according to a Minnesota Soybean poll.Minnesota Soybean harvest

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) directors, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) directors and county soybean growers association board members were asked about the state of the soybean harvest to date. The poll was sent to nearly 400 state directors and county board members, with a little more than 25% responding. Our soybean harvest poll isn’t scientific and is only meant to give a snapshot of the soybean harvest. Thanks to all who participated.

Another Look in the Field – Fall Activity Continues

Fall activity continues this week with interruptions of rain showers slowing the process around the state and another band expected in the next few days. Yield reports from individual growers suggest that soybean yield will approach average across the whole state with some areas detrimentally impacted by difficult spring conditions and others by late dry and localized hail damage. Read more

Diesel Pump

Don’t blame biodiesel for spotty diesel shortages

There is a lot of talking going around about diesel shortages in Minnesota. On Monday, Oct. 6, the Star Tribune published “Dayton eases rules for diesel fuel.” While the article does a good job of bringing to light a fuel situation that is cyclical in Minnesota, it did little to expand on what is causing these “shortages.” Read more

EPA’s interpretation of definition within WOTUS proposal troubling

On Monday, Oct.6,  I had the opportunity to travel with Directors of the American Soybean Association along with staff members from other states to discuss the proposed waters of the United States rule with officials with the EPA. ASA directors Ed Erickson (ND), Ron Moore (IL), Davie Stephens (KY), and Richard Wilkins (DE) discussed the rules impact on their own farms. Read more

Smentek, ASA to meet with EPA over WOTUS proposal

Joe Smentek

Joe Smentek

Minnesota Soybean Director of Environmental Affairs Joe Smentek will join four ASA directors and state staff Monday in Washington D.C. to discuss the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead staff and rule writers of the final rule.
Smentek will join farmer leaders Richard Wilkins (Del.), Ron Moore (Ill.), Davie Stephens (Ky.) and Ed Erickson (N.D.) for the meeting Monday. Smentek hopes to address undefined terms in the rule, tile drainage, and to clarify exemptions to the rule.
“We hope to stress the importance of clear and consistent rules,” Smentek said.

Much at stake for Minnesota GOP, DFL in 2014

The struggle for control of Minnesota’s political setting has begun in earnest and depending on where you reside you are feeling the effects of just how important this election is to both Republicans and Democrats.

Much is at stake and millions of dollars are being spent on statewide and Minnesota House races that will determine the future landscape of Minnesota’s government. Currently, Democrats control the governor’s office and both chambers. Read more

MDA Offers Reminders Regarding Fall Nitrogen Application

As harvest begins, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is advising farmers and fertilizer applicators to check the soil temperature when determining the best time to apply anhydrous ammonia (NH3) and urea this fall.

Waiting until the soil temperature stays below 50º F before applying anhydrous ammonia and urea increases the availability of nitrogen to next season’s crop and decreases the amount of nitrate that could potentially leach into groundwater. Read more