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Organic certification cost share program now accepting applications


Tue, Aug 16th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota organic farmers and processors can now apply for a rebate of up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is accepting applications for the Minnesota Organic Cost Share Program from now until October 31, 2011.

Organic certification is a third-party verification system that assures consumers that the organic products they buy are truly organic, produced in compliance with federal organic regulations. Organic operations are monitored through their records, with on-site inspections at least once a year.

"The cost-share program provides some regulatory relief from a financial burden that is unique to organic farms and businesses," said MDA Organic and Diversification Specialist Meg Moynihan. "Organic growers and processors who sell more than $5,000 of organic agricultural products are legally required to obtain certification at their own expense. Depending on the farm or business size, the cost can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year."

Funds for this program come from a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Certified operations are eligible for reimbursement of 75 percent of certification-related costs they incurred during the period between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011, up to a maximum of $750 per category of certification (crop, livestock, processing/handling, wild harvest). Costs incurred after September 30, 2011 are not eligible for the current rebate program, but can be submitted next year.

To qualify, applicants must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agency. The MDA has already mailed application packets to more than 900 certified organic operations in the state. Any certified organic farmer or processor who did not receive a packet can obtain the materials on the MDA's web site www.mda.state.mn.us/organic or by calling 651-201-6012.

Along with their cost share applications, organic farmers are invited to supply information about the products they sell for the upcoming edition of the Directory of Minnesota Organic Farms. The USDA valued the sales of organically produced commodities in Minnesota at $69 million for 2008, the most recent year for which data are available. There is no charge to be listed in the Minnesota directory.

Alfalfa/corn growers needed for on-farm nitrogen management study

Mon, Aug 15th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Notes

By Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston counties

Extension Agronomist Jeff Coulter, Research Assistant Matt Yost, and USDA-ARS Researcher Michael Russelle are looking for plot sites for a On-Farm Nitr ..... 
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Forestry field day August 16 near Chatfield

Fri, Jul 29th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

On August 16, 2011, the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District will be hosting a field day to explore forestry practices and features along the Lost Creek Hiking Trail. Those attending the field day will see various forestry practices and hav ..... 
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Grazing on a Large Scale

Fri, Jul 29th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston counties

Have you questioned if grazing and in particularly rotation grazing can be successful on a large scale? Many of the examples given have been for small and medium-sized operations. Perhaps there ..... 
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USDA provides assistance for recent high temperature livestock losses

Fri, Jul 22nd, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

SAINT PAUL, MINN., July 20, 2011 - Livestock producers who incur eligible livestock death losses due to the recent extreme temperatures and other adverse weather events may be eligible for the USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Livestock Indemnity Pro ..... 
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Mensink family recognized as a 2011 U of M Farm Family

Fri, Jul 15th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Notes

The Craig and Pam Mensink family of Preston has been named Fillmore County's 2011 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota. The Mensink Family will be recognized locally on Thursday, July 21st during 4-H Night at ..... 
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SWCD and TNC partner to offer funding for planting cover crops

Fri, Jul 15th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

The Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has received funding from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to offer assistance to farmers in the Root River watershed who are interested in seeding cover crops on soybean and corn silage acres. An ..... 
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Summer Dairy Field Day-July 20 in Altura

Fri, Jul 8th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Notes

A Summer Dairy Field Day will be held on Wednesday, July 20, 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon at Shadycrest-Holsteins (Scott & Michelle Herber), 18811 County Road 33, right on the southern edge of Altura, MN. Registration begins at 9:00 ..... 
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Crop Management Tour - July 7

Fri, Jul 1st, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Extension Notes

Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston counties

The Crop Management Tour will provide research-based information for crop producers, crop consultants, agribusiness staff, farm managers, government agency personnel and ..... 
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