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News & Press: Minnesota Milk Minute

Minnesota Milk Minute - April 15, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Minnesota Milk Minute 

April 15, 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.


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

​The 2016 legislative session has reached the halfway point in the shortened 11-week session. All but one committee deadline has passed (the April 21 deadline for finance/appropriation bills), so legislative action is turning from committee work to bills being taken up and debated on the House and Senate floors.

A bill (HF 3888 – Hamilton) known as the Omnibus Agriculture Finance Bill was passed by the House Agriculture Finance Committee on Thursday. HF 3888 makes modest changes to the new agriculture research fund overseen by farm/commodity groups. The new program, officially called the Agriculture Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer Grant Program (AgREETT) devoted over $10 million to research and technology transfer needs for emerging production problems facing Minnesota commodity production. The 2015 law said funds were to be disbursed through a grant-making process involving commodity group representatives, the Department of Agriculture and University of Minnesota. The change included in HF 3888 would streamline the funding mechanism and grant-making process through the University of Minnesota instead of the Department of Agriculture, which required cumbersome and delayed procedures, and requests for proposals to make decisions. The bill also serves as a vehicle to comply with the House leadership’s budget target for agriculture, by returning $1.9 million in unused avian influenza preparedness funds. The companion bill (SF 3543 – Sparks) has not yet been considered.

After a flurry of activity over the last two weeks dealing with farmer access to ditch right-of-ways for temporary placement of flex lines, or “force mains” used for manure field application, legislation to clarify a farmer’s ability to use the right-of-way is pending on the House and Senate floor.

This past week Senate leadership released budget targets for spending some of the $900 million budget surplus expected to be on hand during this second year of the biennium. House leadership released its targets last week. Each body focuses most of the spending on tax cuts and transportation infrastructure. The House target for any new agriculture spending was zero, and the Senate target for the Finance Subcommittee overseeing agriculture, natural resources and economic development was $60 million. In a non-budget year, the legislature does not typically consider new spending except to address supplemental budget requests by agencies, and when surplus budget funds are available as they are this biennium. How any new spending gets allocated will likely be decided in a global deal with the governor toward the end of the session in mid-May.

We are also continuing to work with and for Hastings Cooperative Creamery to create a more competitive business environment for their planned expansion in Minnesota. Hastings Co-op plans to build a new and more efficient plant with room for growth, as they are essentially landlocked in their current site in downtown Hastings.

Newtrient will Help Farmers Realize Manure Management Opportunities (Progressive Dairyman)

A new company launched by Dairy Management Inc., the National Milk Producers Federation and 12 cooperatives representing about half of the nation’s milk production plans to offer new possibilities in manure management and resource recovery. The goal is to develop or take advantage of new technologies and products made from manure. It also will address regulatory structures to help dairy farmers adopt sustainable practices that are economically and environmentally sound. Progress in those areas helps maintain dairy’s social license to operate. Read more.

Watch Your N for Corn-on-soybean Fields (Minn. Dept. of Ag)

Results from the 2010 NASS Corn Grower Survey showed that only one-third of Minnesota farm fields’ soil growing corn after soybeans contained the appropriate amount of nitrogen. Corn-on-corn fields generally fit the University of Minnesota recommendations. But recent minutes from the Nitrogen Fertilizer Education and Promotion Team at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture report that while 3 percent of fields were below the University of Minnesota’s recommended rates, 64 percent of fields were over the recommendation of 100 to 140 pounds per acre. By conforming to recommended rates, Bruce Montgomery, section manager with the Minn. Department of Ag’s Pesticide and Fertilizer Management Division, said nitrogen use could be reduced by 10 percent across the state without diminishing yields.

Comments Sought on Buffer, Soil Loss Program Implementation (Board of Soil and Water Resources)

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is seeking public comment on key components of its Buffer and Excessive Soil Loss programs. BWSR is charged with overseeing program implementation of the buffer law. The Requests for Comment and supporting documents are available on the BWSR Buffer Program website; they include specific questions related to timelines, technical aspects, administrative and implementation processes, and waters not covered in the mapping process. The BWSR board will review draft policy and guidance for the buffer program at its June board meeting. Read more.

Spring Load Restrictions End in Portions of State

Spring Load Restrictions in the southeast, south, metro and central frost zones end today. Spring load restrictions remain in effect for north central and north zones. Read more.

“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior.” -- Stephen M.R. Covey


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