Posts Tagged: Land Stewardship Project

Nitrogen Pollution’s Farm Policy Roots

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

By Adam Warthesen, Land Stewardship Project Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room. When Minnesota environmental officials announced the results of a new major nitrogen pollution study on Thursday, they were surprisingly frank about how bad the problem is, but just as surprisingly hesitant to name a major underlying cause: federal farm policy. Recommend… Read more »

How Farmworker Wage Theft Bankrupts our Rural Communities

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

A few years ago LSP organizer Doug Nopar was told of a southeast Minnesota farm operation that was withholding wages from a worker after he had accidentally damaged a door with a skid steer loader. Nopar called the farm owner and let him know this action was quite illegal. The farmer’s response? “You know, I… Read more »

Main Street Vs. Eat Street

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

I’m not sure I would recommend this, but I recently read two books back-to-back that represent the “how” extremes of today’s food system. I started out with The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food, and, literally within minutes of finishing it, picked up Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food… Read more »

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 »