The big scare and the big myths
When people hear the term “genetically modified,” most associate it with negative health and environmental effects without fully understanding what it means. A lack of understanding about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can create a fear of them.
When an organism is genetically modified (GM), its DNA is altered through genetic engineering to allow it to become resistant to certain weeds, pests, or environmental conditions. Scientists and agriculturalists use genetically engineered (GE) crops to produce a higher grain yield, reduce the amount of labor and field maintenance costs, as well as help grow crops in poor environmental conditions.
Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed March 17-23, 2013, as Minnesota Agriculture Week. The designation is an effort to raise awareness of the positive and important contributions agriculture makes to Minnesota’s economy and its people.
Minnesota agriculture generated $18.5 billion in cash receipts and $6.8 billion in exports in 2011, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. More than 10 percent of the jobs in Minnesota are linked to agriculture.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson says it’s important to recognize the impact agriculture has on the lives of all Minnesotans.
“Minnesota farms and agribusinesses produce high quality foods and agricultural products that we all enjoy and that are also exported around the world,” said Frederickson. “We rank sixth in the nation in agriculture production and we have our hard-working farmers and ranchers to thank for that.”
The top-ranking Minnesota counties in agricultural production are Stearns, Martin, Renville, Blue Earth and Nobles.
Minnesota Agriculture Week is being recognized in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of National Agriculture Day which, this year is Tuesday, March 19. For more information on National Ag Day, visit the website www.agday.org.
As drought continues, Commissioners Rothman and Frederickson urge farmers to review crop insurance needs
Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson and Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman March 8, issued a consumer alert encouraging Minnesota farmers to consider purchasing crop insurance ahead of this year’s growing season. The standard deadline for purchasing crop insurance is right around the corner. Farmers must finalize a crop insurance plan with their insurance agent by March 15.
In recognition of National Agriculture Week March 17-23, the EV-W FFA Alumni Association and Schmitt Farms Seed Division are sponsoring a drawing for free groceries. Register to win a $50 gift certificate at Stein’s Thriftway in Watkins or Valley Meats & Grocery in Eden Valley. There will be two winners at each location.
“And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God made a farmer.” - Paul Harvey, FFA Convention, 1978
Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program (DCP) and Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE) Sign-up Announced
Glenn Schafer, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director, reminds producers that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the authorization of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) for many Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) commodity, disaster, and conservation programs through 2013. FSA administers these programs.