biodiesel essay

Biodiesel Essay Contest Winners announced

The winners of the 2014 Clean Air Choice Biodiesel Essay contests have been selected. John Wheaton, a recent graduate of Minnetonka High School, was the first place winner with his essay, “Impacting a new generation: my journey toward educating the community on the benefits of biodiesel.”
Wheaton, a resident of Deephaven, Minn., has long had an interest in alternative fuels and vehicle technologies. He heard about the scholarship while attending a meeting at the American Lung Association in Minnesota headquarters. He will receive a $1,000 check for his winning essay.
The second place winner is Hannah Korri of Duluth. A recent graduate of Two Harbors High School, Hannah wrote of her concerns that vehicle emissions from traditional petroleum fuels threatened the “…crisp, clean air found only in our Northland.” She will receive a $500 check for her winning essay.
There were 76 entrees in the 2014 Clean Air Choice Biodiesel Essay contest, which is open to all high school seniors in Minnesota.

Trade Teams Tour Minnesota Farms

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, in conjunction with AGP, hosted a group of soybean and soybean meal buyers from South East Asia who were interested in meeting farmers and looking at the 2014 soybean crop. The delegates made visits on Wednesday, Aug. 20, to tour Lance Peterson’s farm near Underwood, Minn., and Jeffrey & Karen Larson’s farm near Evansville, Minn.

On Thursday, the groups  continued touring Minnesota with a visit to a dairy facility, a turkey facility, an ethanol plant and to Minnesota Soybean Growers Association director Mike O’Leary’s family hog farm near Danvers, Minn. An important part of maintaining a relationship with trade teams is to host them on farm tours or take them straight to producers to experience U.S. agriculture first-hand, to make connections with farmers on a personal level and develop an understanding of modern agriculture.

Another Look in the Field: SCN in the field and research developments

Many of us say “SCN” like we were spitting and with good reason. Soybean Cyst Nematode remains a thief of yield potential in many soybean production fields across the state, and in spite of our efforts, seems to continue to expand in territory. While we can begin looking for live SCN females attached to soybean roots about five weeks after planting, this is the time of year where field counts are usually highest and thus easiest to identify as problems.

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Farm Bill Webinar with Q&A

Missed the last Farm Bill webinar covering Updating Crop Base Acres and FSA Program Yields? That’s OK. We have you covered. You can catch up on any of the Farm Bill webinars here, or you can access the Farm Bill webinar education series on the Minnesota Soybean Promotion & Research Council Webinars page or the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Webinars page. You can also listen to a Farm Bill Q&A recap with Farm Market Analyst Al Kluis and Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Aug. 14 Farm Bill webinar. We had a large turnout for the event, which means together we are delving into this new bill to learn the best options for our farmers.

Kluis/Thiesse Q&A Part One

Kluis/Thiesse Q&A Part Two

Workshops to Highlight Opportunities for Food-Grade Beans

Mankato, Minn.—Minnesota soybean farmers looking to diversify their operations or take advantage of market opportunities will want to participate in one of two upcoming informational meetings. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) is hosting two sessions highlighting the growing opportunities for farmers to produce food-grade soybeans.

“Foreign demand for food-grade soybeans is increasing very rapidly every year, especially in China and Southeast Asia,” says Keith Schrader, a farmer from Nerstrand and chair of Minnesota Soybean’s Market Development team. “At this point, China raises all their own food-grade beans, but they’re outstripping their production capabilities. Within the next year or two, they’re likely to become a bigger player, along with all the other countries we’re already selling to. We are also seeing increased domestic demand for these soybeans.”

Food-grade soybeans have been produced in Minnesota for years, but growing demand is encouraging farmers to take another look at the potential.

“We really encourage people who have never considered growing food-grade varieties to give it a look,” adds Minnesota Soybean Director of Marketing Programs Sam Ziegler. “But we also want farmers who over the years may have looked into food-grade beans to re-examine the possibilities because things have changed.”

The sessions, held in conjunction with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) and the Midwest Shippers Association, will feature information on market opportunities, seed selection, production, crop insurance, contracts and more.

These free sessions will be held:

North Mankato

July 31, 2014
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
South Central College


August 19, 2014
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Courtyard by Marriott

“With the increased demand and the need for increased profitability on Minnesota soybean farms, we put together these informational meetings so people can learn more about this market,” Schrader adds.

For more information or to register, visit

New Website Highlights the Importance of the MSGA

Technology plays a big part in the way we communicate and the way we do business. This is nothing new to our soybean farmers, who adapt and change and use technology to achieve better yields while preserving and maintaining the land everyone depends on.

Like our farmers, we need to adapt as well. This website is about change, and it is also about giving our Minnesota Soybean Grower Association members more control to be involved with the MSGA.  Read more

Another Look in the Field: Drowned out field strategy

Last week as I traveled from Mankato to Thief River Falls, it was impossible to miss the consequence of heavy rains that had covered most of the state. This week Minnesota is still in the news as the river systems swell while removing that rainfall through our State’s waterways. Field low spots are also draining at variable rates and this raises the question; what to do with that field area? I’m not going to focus on crop loss or insurance at this point, but on the field itself. For most of the field low spots I have observed, the drying process has been slow and we have rain forecast for the later part of the week at this writing. The option to replant any area is quickly diminishing if not already past. University of Minnesota Extension reports that when planting soybeans on July 1, yield potential is reduced by approximately 50% compared to soybeans planted early. The slow drainage compounded by more possible rainfall begins to suggest that by the time those field areas are dry enough to be planted, the loss of yield potential precludes that as a profitable option this year. In light of that, there are several other considerations to keep in mind for those field low spots.  Read more

MSGA Officers Elected

MANKATO, MN – June 23, 2014- The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) board of directors has re-elected Redwood County farmer George Goblish of Vesta to lead the organization as its president. Goblish will serve his second one-year term as president.

Paul Freeman of Starbuck was elected vice president, Cole Trebesch of Springfield was tabbed to be the new treasurer, and Theresia Gillie of Hallock was elected secretary.  Read more

Minnesota Becomes First State to Move to B10

Mankato, Minn.—Minnesota is cementing its role as a leader in the biodiesel industry by becoming the first state to move to a 10 percent biodiesel blend (B10) in its diesel fuel supply. Beginning July 1, diesel fuel sold in Minnesota will contain a B10 blend during the summer months.

“I’m very pleased that common sense is still alive and well and that our legislators voted for what was good for Minnesota,” says George Goblish, president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) and a farmer from Vesta, Minn. “The decision to continue moving forward is good for air quality in Minnesota, energy diversity and its good for the economy.” 

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Minnesota Soybean Farmers Highlight Transportation Issues in Washington

Washington, D.C.—Minnesota soybean farmers Lance Peterson and Bill Gordon were among nearly 40 speakers to testify before the Surface Transportation Board in Washington D.C. about challenges with rail transportation. Peterson and Gordon, both Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) and American Soybean Association (ASA) directors, highlighted the impacts increased rail costs and widening grain basis are having on farmers.

“We were certainly able to create awareness on this very important issue,” Peterson says. “It drove home the seriousness of the situation.” 

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