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Propagation

Advertise in the 2022 MCIA Directory

Advertising in MCIA’s Directory is an affordable and effective way for members to promote their businesses.

Every year, we distribute approximately 2,000 printed copies of the Directory to farmers, seed producers, conditioners, wholesalers, retailers, organic producers and processors, and many others. A digital version of the Directory is also available on the publications page of the MCIA website.

We have begun preparing the 2022 edition and are scheduled to go to press in October.

MCIA members who are enrolled in the Approved Facilities Program and MCIA-certified organic handlers can expect to receive an informational mailing soon regarding Directory advertising. To assure that your ad appears in the 2022 Directory, please place your reservation by September 7.

To view 2022 Directory ad rates and specifications, click here. To place an ad reservation or to ask for more information, contact Communications Specialist Alan Makinen at alan.makinen@mncia.org.


MDA Offers Free Waste Pesticide Collections in NW Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is hosting a series of free waste pesticide collections available to eleven northwestern Minnesota counties. Residents from Beltrami, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau counties may attend any of the five collection sites in August.

The program accepts unwanted, unusable agricultural and consumer-type pesticides including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and rodenticides. However, crop oils, adjuvants, pesticide rinsate, fertilizer, treated seed, contaminated soil, and empty pesticide containers will not be accepted. The collections are open to farmers, homeowners, commercial pesticide applicators, golf courses, lawn care companies, structural pest control operators, and other pesticide users. No pre-registration for the MDA events is required.

The 2021 MDA collections will be held at the following locations and times:

  • August 3: West Central Ag, 334 1st St. SE, Ulen, 2–4 p.m.
  • August 4: CHS Ag Services, 3035 Highway 75 S, Crookston, 9–11 a.m.
  • August 4: CHS Ag Services, 624 3rd St. W, Thief River Falls, 2–4 p.m.
  • August 5: CHS Ag Services, 420 S Main, Warren, 9–11 a.m.
  • August 5: Nutrient Ag Solutions, 1275 Atlantic Ave. S, Hallock, 2–4 p.m.

Collection sites will accept up to 300 pounds of eligible product at no cost. The MDA requests that citizens call 651-214-6843 to provide advance notification if they wish to drop off more than 300 pounds of product. The MDA has collected over 8 million pounds of pesticides around the state since the Waste Pesticide Collection Program started in 1990.


Palmer Amaranth Found in Goodhue County

Farmers and agronomists encouraged to scout fields for invasive weed

A Palmer amaranth plant found in a Goodhue County corn field was not killed by a recent herbicide application. Photo courtesy Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has positively identified the invasive weed Palmer amaranth in Goodhue County.

After a crop consultant reported a suspected plant to the MDA, staff conducted a site visit and found the weed in two corn fields managed by one farmer. The MDA scouted fields surrounding the documented infestations and did not find any additional Palmer plants. It is unknown at this time how Palmer amaranth got into the two fields; however, the MDA is continuing to investigate potential sources.

An herbicide application stunted but did not kill the plants. A crew hand-pulled weeds in the two fields to eliminate any chance of seed production. The MDA will continue to work with the farmer, crop consultants, U of M Extension, and the County Agricultural Inspector to manage these infestations.

“This is a good example of the limits of herbicide on Palmer amaranth,” said Denise Thiede, MDA’s Seed Unit Supervisor. “If plants are allowed to reach a certain size, an herbicide application may not control them. That’s why we’re counting on farmers and crop consultants to report suspected plants. They are our best line of defense against Palmer amaranth.”

In Minnesota, Palmer amaranth is listed as a noxious weed and a prohibited weed seed. This means no Palmer amaranth is allowed in any seed offered for sale in Minnesota.

Palmer amaranth is resistant to multiple herbicides, can cause substantial yield losses, and greatly increase weed management costs in soybeans and corn.

The MDA is asking farmers and agronomists to take photos of suspicious plants, pull them out, and save them in plastic bags for genetic testing if needed. Report the find to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us.

MDA’s full press release on this topic can be found online, here. Find more information about Palmer amaranth on the MDA website, here.


Field Inspection Before Harvest

© Regents of the University of Minnesota

We remind growers of small grain seed to have your fields inspected before you harvest! If you do not have a field inspection report, contact your MCIA field supervi­sor. Do not harvest unless you are sure your field has been inspected. We can still accept applications for small grain field inspections. If you need to add a field, contact the MCIA office or your field supervisor.

 Adding Certified Seed Acres

Dry weather conditions may affect seed production locally and regionally. MCIA members can still request inspection for eligible fields. Growers that want to add certified seed acres may apply at any time prior to harvest or within the inspection window. Note that late fees will be charged for late applications.

Growers may also carryover all certified seed classes; this includes conditioned and unconditioned seed. For conditioned seed that has previously been tested, a new germination test would be needed prior to selling. For unconditioned carryover seed, standard testing would be needed after conditioning has been completed. Growers with carryover seed can be listed in the 2022 MCIA Directory (see post below).


Prepare for the Minnesota State Fair

MCIA Exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair.

Prepare your samples now for entry in the Minnesota State Fair’s farm crops compe­titions! Samples from the 2019 or 2020 crop year may be shown.

Be sure to include a certification report for the samples you are submitting. The closing date for farm crops entries is August 13 (the new corn closing date is September 2).

For entry forms, rules, premiums, and other information, visit the Farm Crops Competition page on the Minnesota State Fair website, here, or call the Minnesota State Fair office at 651-288-4417.


List Your Carryover Seed in the Directory

The MCIA Directory includes a listing of certified and registered carryover seed.

The 2022 MCIA Directory will include a listing of carryover seed. Growers: If you have seed you want to list, please submit the Directory Carryover Seed Inclusion form that was included in your field inspection information packet.

You may also access the Directory Carryover Seed Inclusion form from the Client Resources page of the MCIA website, here.

Or simply send MCIA the following information about your carryover seed: crop variety, your name, address, and telephone number.


MCIA Seeks Organic Certification Specialist/Inspector

Photo by Diane Collins, © MCIA.

Minnesota Crop Improvement Association is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Organic Certification Specialist/Inspector. Duties of an organic certification specialist/inspector include collecting and distributing certification information, creating records, reviewing applications, conducting on-site inspections, performing final reviews, and writing certification decision letters.

MCIA’s office is located on the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Hybrid or remote work arrangements are possible for employees living within our inspection area.

This full-time position offers a competitive salary and full benefits. For more information, including how to apply, visit our Job Openings page.


USDA Seeks Input on Racial Justice and Equity

Image by zement from Pixabay.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is requesting input from the public on how it can advance racial justice and equity for underserved communities as part of its implementation of Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

USDA is requesting input to identify barriers that people of color and underserved communities and individuals may face in obtaining information from USDA. This includes accessing, enrolling, and participating in USDA programs and services, and engaging with USDA staff. USDA seeks to identify opportunities in current USDA policies, regulations, and guidance to address systemic inequities. USDA requests input on how to best engage external stakeholders and community members representing marginalized, vulnerable, or underserved communities in order to increase participation in USDA programs, services, committees and decision-making processes.

In the months ahead, USDA will establish a Racial Equity Commission. The Racial Equity Commission will focus specifically on addressing systemic impediments to equity in USDA programs. USDA is asking for comments on any and all interactions with USDA programs. All comments will be aggregated, summarized, and shared with USDA Leadership and the Racial Equity Commission. The Racial Equity Commission may choose to seek additional input to meet its goals and objectives. USDA will continue to reach out to stakeholders and community members for the purposes of Executive Order 13985 and to fulfill its mission.

The USDA will consider comments received by July 15, 2021. For further information on this initiative, including how to provide input, please visit the Agriculture Department’s notice in the Federal Register, here.


Seed Lab Update

As the influx of samples to the Seed Laboratory begins to slow and the end of the fiscal year nears, here is a recap of the past testing season and a look forward to the projects that we have planned for the summer.

Many of us faced new challenges this year due to the pandemic. The Seed Laboratory is accustomed to the support provided by student workers who are enrolled in the MAST International program. During the University of Minnesota campus closure, however, that help has not been readily available. Nonetheless, we tested approximately 2,800 samples this year. This number is the second highest since the lab reopened in 2016.

In general, overall sample quality was very high this year. Compared to the past few years, there were very few disease issues for small grains and soybeans. Ryegrass comprised the largest number of samples tested (775), followed by soybeans (527), wheat (439), oats (392), and corn (302). Predictably, March was the busiest month of the year with 570 samples tested.

The Seed Laboratory added a new service this year: We issued eight Canadian Seed Grade Reports for seed lots being exported to Canada. (Note: A Canadian Seed Grade Report is different than a Seed Certification Report for Export to Canada). This service was made possible by our accreditation through the USDA Accredited Seed Lab (ASL) program and meeting requirements to become an accredited seed grader.

We also recently completed the third year working on a project with University of Minnesota Associate Professor and Extension Agronomist Seth Naeve. Our task was to identify any seed contaminants present in soybean screenings that were grown from fields across the U.S. We identified over 47,600 contaminants in the 544 samples that we examined this year! This work is part of a larger program that aims to improve the quality of U.S. exports and help farmers manage herbicide-resistant weeds. More information on Seth Naeve’s work regarding managing foreign material in soybeans can be found on the UMN Extension website.

This summer, our primary focus will be on fulfilling accreditation requirements, such as calibrating equipment (thermometers, scales, dividers, etc.), updating controlled documents, testing for new control samples, conducting a customer satisfaction survey, completing vendor evaluations, and performing an internal audit. We have sent a customer satisfaction survey to our clients via email. Your participation in the survey will provide us with valuable information regarding the testing services MCIA offers.

Our other duties, outside the scope of accreditation, will include restocking testing supplies, purchasing new equipment, and disposing of samples from cold storage. In addition, evaluation of small grain and soybean grow-out plots will be conducted as part of our post-control measures.