Posts Categorized: agriculture

Minnesota Farmers: CSP is on for 2013

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

By Adam Warthesen, Land Stewardship Project One of the nation’s most innovative working lands farm conservation initiatives has received a financial reprieve, thanks to the continuing resolution signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. The continuing resolution, which was passed by Congress late last week, appropriates funds to federal government agencies through the remainder of… Read more »

What CapX2020 (& Bad Public Policy) Could Destroy

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog, Xcel.

As LSP’s latest action alert makes clear, the companies behind the CapX2020 high voltage line are trying to get away with not paying for the true value of the Minnesota farm operations they will be destroying. Unfortunately, the attitude that land which isn’t sprouting industrial infrastructure or subdivisions is nothing more than cheap”wasted space” is… Read more »

Is That a Trophy Hunter Knockin’ at Your Door?

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

What with farmland changing hands at price levels that would make a Beverly Hills realtor blanch, one could be forgiven for jumping to an obvious conclusion: Farm Country is flush with cash these days. Indeed, based on pure numbers, the statistics are impressive. Midwestern farmland values increased 16 percent in 2012, the third largest gain… Read more »

Comment Period on Winona County Frac Sand Review Extended to Feb. 6

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Energy, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog, natural gas.

By Johanna Rupprecht, Land Stewardship Project The process of environmental review for frac sand mine proposals in Winona County has been seriously flawed from the start. But there’s still time for citizens to get involved and push for an in-depth, comprehensive review—otherwise known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)—that would show the full impacts these… Read more »

The (Growing) High Price of an Unreformed Crop Insurance Program

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

By Adam Warthesen, Land Stewardship Project Just when you think the facts and figures around federal subsidized crop insurance can’t get any more outlandish, new numbers emerge exposing the out-of-control spending and lack of accountability for this area of farm policy. Earlier this month, USDA released the most recent data on crop insurance costs. It’s… Read more »

Teaming With Soil Microbes (part 2)

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

Talking about the importance of feeding soil microbes is fine. Speaking with your feet is even better. “Take a closer look—anything you tramp down is just carbon in the soil,” quips soil conservationist Jay Fuhrer on a Friday afternoon in early September. As he says this, he’s beckoning some 120 farmers and others to follow… Read more »

Teaming with Soil Microbes (part 1)

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

On a crisp morning in September, North Dakota farmer Gabe Brown held two handfuls of soil and searched for signs of life—theoretically not a difficult task considering one teaspoon of humus contains more organisms than there are humans in the world. But many of the bacteria and invertebrates that lurk in the dark basement of… Read more »

Pollinators in Peril

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

As last week’s Congressional Research Service report on bee health makes clear, the crisis plaguing pollinators is not a single, big bad bogey man. It’s likely a combination of factors such as habitat loss, pesticide poisoning, introduced diseases and the stress of making domesticated honey bees the insect equivalent of migrant workers. That’s the bad… Read more »

Dust-to-Dust: Don’t Blame the Drought

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog, rural.

I recently phoned members of my geographically far-flung family to give them Thanksgiving greetings and was struck by a common element of our ensuing conversations. From Iowa and Nebraska to Kentucky and Texas, the report was the same: drought, drought and more drought. I thought about that recently while watching the  new documentary, The Dust… Read more »

Why Restricting Voter Rights is Bad for the Land & its People

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

By Mark Schultz Recently, the Land Stewardship Project joined “Our Vote, Our Future,” a coalition of over 70 organizations working to oppose the voter restriction amendment to the state constitution that is to be put before Minnesota voters Nov. 6. Why is an organization whose mission is stewardship of the land speaking out on this… Read more »