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Minnesota Milk Minute - April 22, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Minnesota Milk Minute 

April 22, 2016

A reliable source of timely market information, news and current events. 

In This Issue

Minnesota Milk Legislative Update

Newtrient will Help Farmers Realize Manure Management Opportunities

Watch Your N for Corn-on-soybean Fields

Comments Sought on Buffer, Soil Loss Program Implementation

Spring Load Restrictions End in Portions of State

Upcoming Events

June 15-20 - New York Dairy Tour


Featured Members

Special thanks to
Minnesota Milk
Associate Members.
This week’s featured members:

Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Minnesota Corn Growers Association

AgVenture Feed & Seed, Inc.

Carlson Wholesale, Inc.

Mycogen Seeds

SEMA Equipment, Inc.

Zoetis


Minnesota Milk Legislative Update (Lucas Sjostrom, Minnesota Milk & Daryn McBeth, Gray Plant Mooty)

This week the supplemental budget that would spend part of the $900 million state budget surplus started to take shape at the Legislature, as the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee sent bills to the respective floors. Each body, and the governor, have very different ideas on how to spend the budget surplus, creating a key question of how the 2016 session will come to an end by May 23.

The resources available from the budget surplus play into how the legislature would fund a tax bill and transportation bill — two of the three main priorities this session. The Senate DFL proposes to allocate $300 million in tax cuts, while the governor would reduce taxes by $117 million. The GOP House would use a majority of the $900 million for tax cuts and transportation infrastructure. The DFL Senate proposes to spend $31.5 million of the surplus on transportation while the governor proposes $13.9 million in this area. DFL leaders also support new revenue from higher taxes and fees for transportation.

In the area of bonding (the third main priority for this session), the GOP House would allocate $3.1 million annually (in interest) to borrow about $600 million, while the DFL Senate and governor would bond for $1.4 billion at an annual cost of $8.1 million. The House GOP would use much of their bonding proposal for transportation infrastructure.

Here are the remaining budget “targets” of each body: E-12 Education (DFL Senate $48.2M; GOP House $0); Higher Education (DFL Senate $47.7M; GOP House $0); Health and Human Services (DFL Senate $43.3M; GOP House $0); Jobs/Environment Natural Resources/Energy/Agriculture (DFL Senate $67.5M; GOP House $4.5M); Broadband (DFL Senate $85M; GOP House $35M); Racial Equity (DFL Senate $91; GOP House $0); Public Safety and Courts (DFL Senate $45M; GOP House $-1M); General State Government (DFL Senate $30M; GOP House $-9.5M).

As part of the supplemental budget for agriculture, the Senate would appropriate $3.5 million overall in fiscal year 2017 for noxious weed grants ($350,000); tractor rollover grants ($1 million); pollinator investment grants ($300,000); a grant to Duluth for a deep winter greenhouse ($200,000); an industrial hemp pilot project ($500,000); organic agriculture transition grants ($150,000); and the University of Minnesota’s Forever Green initiative to study and adopt conservation and cover cropping practices ($1 million). The Senate also funds the Good Food Access Program (to address "food deserts") in the Racial Equity bill at a one-time cost of $5 million. In the agriculture budget article, the Senate would reduce unspent avian influenza response funds by an amount of $3 million, and then is allocated $500,000 in general fund dollars for a net budget target of $500,000, not including the $5 million that would go to the Department of Agriculture for the Good Food Access Fund.

Supplemental agriculture budget funding in the House (also known as the Omnibus House Agriculture Finance Bill) is advancing as follows: $1.8 million for the Board of Animal Health and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) to upgrade software platforms for disease and animal health surveillance; $283,000 for the VDL to increase animal disease testing capacity; $250,000 for a tractor rollover protection pilot program; $2.2 million for equipment and instrument upgrades at the Department of Agriculture’s laboratory. These increases for fiscal year 2017 would be paid for by reducing $3.332 million in unused avian influenza response dollars appropriated to the Department of Agriculture last session. The net agriculture target in the House would thus be zero.

This week the House passed the Senate’s buffer bill, clarifying changes made last year requiring new buffers next to public waters and ditches. The Senate passed the bill (SF 2503) by a vote of 61-0 while the House vote was 105-24. The governor said he would sign the bill. The revisions include eliminating "benefitted area" language and identifying the most recent public water inventory and public ditches subjected to buffers. By eliminating the benefitted area language, the law also explicitly codifies that private ditches are exempt from the buffer requirement. The bill also shifts buffer jurisdiction from state to local agencies if they choose to assert it. Under the new law, counties and local watershed districts would have jurisdiction, but if they decline, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources would oversee implementation and enforcement. Lastly, the bill reinforces that the DNR's only role will be to conduct mapping.


Minnesota Milk Appreciates MPCA Action on Water Quality Program

This week, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) informed the Minnesota Department of Agriculture that participants in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) would be first in line for feedlot permitting and that time would be reduced in manure management plan preparation, while still enhancing water quality. Minnesota Milk applauded the move, saying it supports dairy farmers’ philosophy that voluntary programs like this one encourage sign-up and make it easier for new farmers and those who are expanding to improve water quality. We invite a continued dialogue with MPCA on enhancing MAWQCP to continue adding value to dairy farms, eliminating unintended consequences from rule changes that could affect new and younger farmers. Cooperation can also help ensure farmers whose animals’ manure is applied to land they do not own can receive equal benefits in the program.


A Safer, Cleaner, Cheaper Way to Clean Milking Systems? (Penn State)

A safer option for cleaning milking systems on dairy farms may also decrease cleaning time and cost, according to a team of Penn State engineers. The researchers studied the effectiveness of the first three cycles of the Cleaning-in-Place process – warm water rinse, alkaline wash and acid rinse – using electrolyzed oxidizing, or EO, water in place of harsher chemicals typically used in the alkaline and acid washes. The EO water is the product of electrolyzed tap water combined with table salt. They found the use of EO water was just as effective as the chemicals traditionally used. Read more.


Minnesota Researchers Win EPA Challenge (Environment Protection Agency)

Two University of Minnesota researchers were among the winners of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Nutrient Recycling Challenge Phase One. The EPA's challenge, launched last November, is a national competition formed in partnership with livestock groups and Newtrient, which includes the dairy checkoff and dairy cooperatives. It’s focused on developing affordable technologies to manage nutrients from livestock manure, including extracting them for marketable products. The Minnesota researchers created a dry biosolids fertilizer by using a novel anaerobic digestion and solid-liquid separation system. Read more


New State Fair Efforts Focuses on Farming (Minnesota State Fair)

The Minnesota State Fair has unveiled the first glimpse of its next big expansion plan. The architects that created the fair’s West End Market in 2014 showed how they would make over the north end of the fairgrounds with a new exhibit hall, amphitheater and other activities. The theme is designed to emphasize the fair’s farming roots. Read more.


“Growing up on a dairy, you certainly learn discipline and a commitment to purpose.” -- Mike Johanns, former Secretary of Agriculture

 

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