MDA offers advisory on crop seed

Poor planting conditions this spring are forcing some farmers to make decisions on prevented planting. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is advising farmers about the legal requirements for selling and buying seed in Minnesota. This includes cover crop seed.

There are several issues the MDA has found in past years that violate Minnesota’s Seed Law. Buying grain from an elevator for the purpose of sowing is not legal. It is also illegal to brown bag or sell grain out of a bin. Furthermore, all seed sold in the state must be labeled.

“There are numerous reasons why Minnesota’s Seed Law restricts these activities,” said Denise Thiede, MDA’s Seed Unit Supervisor. “Farmers could be bringing in weeds through unlabeled and untested seed, or they may not be getting the type or quality of seed they paid for.”

In addition, almost all seed varieties have some form of intellectual property protection that restricts the use and sale of the variety under the federal Plant Variety Protection Act. Violations of this act can lead to significant fines for both the seller and the buyer.

If farmers are buying seed to sow on their land, the MDA offers the following advice:

• Make sure the seed has a label.

• Confirm the seed has been tested for noxious weed seeds, including Palmer amaranth.

• Make sure that it is a legal sale by asking the seller if they have the legal authority to sell the product.

• Ask about the variety of seed. A variety protected by the Plant Variety Protection Act must be sold by variety name and may be required to be sold as a class of certified seed.

More information on the requirements for selling seed in Minnesota can be found at on the MDA’s website (www.mda.state.mn.us/seed).

 

East Central Regional Arts Council moving

As of July 1, the East Central Regional Arts Council office will be in transition as they move into their new space in Hinckley.

The new office will officially open on Monday, July 15. Before then special appointments with staff are available. You can contact them during regular office hours by calling 320-496-7829 or email info@ecrac.org

ECRAC apologizes for any inconvenience during the move. Applications are still being accepted for the ECRAC Board of Directors. Those interested in helping shape the future of the arts in East Central Minnesota are encouraged to apply now at www.ecrac.org.

Farmers can learn from successful graziers

University of Minnesota Extension, Sustainable Farming Association, Wright and Pine Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Service are sponsoring pasture management field days at Living Song Farm, 7616 25th Street SW Howard Lake, MN on August 21st and Pinederosa Produce, 11131 Lakeview Heights Road, Pine City, MN on August 29th from 1pm- 4:00pm. Jerry Ford and Rod Greder who have been rotationally grazing for a number of years will be the hosts. Kent Solberg Sustainable Farming Association grazing consultant, and Rod Greder, SARE pasture grant investigator will speak and demonstrate tools. NRCS and SWCD staff will also discuss their programs and education for graziers.

Animal productivity and farm economics can be enhanced by improved pasture management. Intensive grazing management is a more sustainable and profitable practice. Accurate measurement of available forage is critical for pre-season planning and in-season management. Several measurement tools exist and will be demonstrated and explained. These methods are being compared on several farms in 2018-19 as part of a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant.

Speakers will cover rotational grazing best practices and demonstrate the capacitance meter, rising plate meter, falling plate meter, sward stick, NRCS grazing stick, and more! There will be pasture management tools demonstrated that work for all pasture sizes and budgets.

Registration and program begin at 1pm and the workshop ends at 4 p.m. This is a free event. Some walking will be required. Pre-registration is requested, but not required. For registration go to https://z.umn.edu/SARE-FIELD-DAYS-2019 or contact the Isanti County Extension Office for more information at 763-689-8254, or e-mail gred0014@umn.edu

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