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Propagation

Organic Cost Share Application Period Open

The USDA’s Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) is again offering rebates for certification expenses to eligible organic producers and handlers.

To qualify, applicants must be certified organic by a USDA-accredited certifying agency; by MCIA, for example. Operations that received certification (or had ongoing certification) between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021, are eligible for reimbursement of up to 50 percent of certification-related expenses. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) administers the program in Minnesota and has already mailed application packets to all certified organic operations in the state.

The maximum rebate available is $500 per category (crop, livestock, processing/handling, wild harvest). The MDA also offers a similar cost share program for operations transitioning to organic. In Minnesota, producers and handlers may apply for cost share assistance through the MDA, here. In Wisconsin, apply to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, here. Organic operations that are certified by MCIA and that are located in other states, should apply through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA).

“The yearly cost of certification can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars,” MDA Assistant Commissioner Patrice Bailey said. “This program provides some relief and goes a long way to make organic certification more affordable.” The Organic Certification Cost Share Program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.


Research Grants Available from MDA

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting grant applications for applied crop research to improve the agricultural product quality, quantity, or value of Minnesota’s $10 billion crop industry.

The MDA anticipates awarding roughly $1,000,000 in total. Minnesota-based organizations with agricultural research capabilities may apply for the funding. Grants reimburse up to $250,000 of the cost of a project that will provide research products within seven years to benefit Minnesota agriculture, its producers, and associated industries.

Research projects with an outreach plan that addresses how activities or outcomes of this project meaningfully involves or informs underserved agricultural producers such as emerging farmers, and rural communities with limited economic opportunities will receive priority. In addition, preference will also be given to applicants researching crops that have limited access to other research funds.

Applications for the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program Crop Research Grant received by 4 p.m. Tuesday, November 30, 2021 will be included in the competitive review process. The online application is available at the AGRI Crop Research Grant website.

To read the MDA’s full bulletin on this topic, click here.


Seed Laboratory Update

Seed testing desktop. Photo by MCIA.

Please note that the Seed Laboratory has issued a new Fee Schedule, effective July 1. To view or download it, click here.

A few reminders as we begin a new testing season:

• The sample must be representative of your seed lot—the test results we obtain are a direct reflection of the sample that is provided.

• Storing a sample prior to submitting—keep samples in a closed container in a clean, dry location away from excessive heat.

• Shipping samples—package properly to minimize damage and prevent spillage during transit.

• Include a completed Sampling Report and other relevant documentation for each sample submitted. Any missing information may cause delays in testing and final certification.

If you have any questions, please contact the Seed Laboratory Manager, Chase Mowry, at chase.mowry@mncia.org.

Selling Seed Out-of-State?

Are you selling your seed into another state? If so, an All State Noxious Exam is needed. You can request the All State Noxious test on the Sampling Report when submitting your sample. If you have further questions, please contact the MCIA Seed Laboratory or your MCIA field supervisor.


Seeking Board Candidates

board of directors map
MCIA Board Districts

Minnesota Crop Improvement Association is seeking candidates for 2 positions on its 11-member Board of Directors. The positions are: Director for District 1 and director for District 2 (see accompanying MCIA Board District map). The District 1 seat is currently held by Brad Barth, who is eligible for re-election. The District 2 seat is currently held by Bob Ehlers, who is not eligible for re-election.

These positions are Category A Directors, who are elected by and from the members of MCIA at its Annual Meeting to serve three-year terms. The Board of Directors is the Association’s policy-making body. It is required to hold at least two regular meetings per calendar year in addition to the Annual Meeting. MCIA’s 2022 Annual Meeting will be held January 12, 2022.

If you are interested in serving on the MCIA Board of Directors or would like to nominate someone, please contact MCIA President/CEO Fawad Shah at 1-800-510-6242 or by e-mail at fawad.shah@mncia.org.


Call for Award Nominees

Recipients of the 1943 Premier Seedsman Award: Hiram Johnson, Conrad Nietfeld, Charles V. Simpson, and Oscar J. Olson.

We encourage members to submit nominations for MCIA’s annual Honorary Premier Seedsman, Premier Seedsman, and Achievement in Crop Improvement awards, which will be presented at the MCIA Annual Meeting, January 12, 2022.

If you know a producer, seed conditioner, or supporter of MCIA deserving of recognition for their service to the seed industry, involvement in MCIA, and contributions to their community, or if you have questions about nomination requirements, please contact Roger Wippler at 1-800-510-6242 or by e-mail at wippl002@umn.edu.


Face Covering Update

In accordance with the University of Minnesota’s protocol on face coverings, staff members and visitors to MCIA’s office on the campus of the UMN Twin Cities are required to wear facial coverings while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks or facial coverings are not required when alone in an office or when outdoors.

The University continues to follow CDC guidance on public health and safety precautions as Covid-19 transmission rates fluctuate. Wearing a mask or facial covering indoors has been shown to slow the transmission of Covid-19.

Anyone who fails to abide with this directive may be asked or directed to leave the campus space.

To read the full details of the University of Minnesota Face Covering Protocol, updated August 27, 2021, click here. To read University President Joan Gabel’s message regarding face covering requirements, dated August 2, 2021, click here.


Field Services Reminders

Photo by David L. Hansen. © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Soybean Inspection

The season for soybean field inspection will be here soon. We remind growers who have not yet submitted their field inspection applications to get them in as soon as possible. This will allow field inspectors to plan for an efficient and timely inspection season.

Labeling Certified Forage and Mulch

A reminder to forage and mulch producers: Bales are not certified until a certification label is securely at­tached to each bale prior to delivery to the buyer. Misuse of certification tags may result in loss of certification privileges.


Seed Testing Reminders

Seed germination. Photo by MCIA.

It’s a busy time of year for growers and for our Seed Laboratory. To ensure timely and efficient service, we offer the following reminders to Seed Laboratory clients.

Be sure to include a Sampling Report with every sample submitted for testing. Whether it be for a retest or a germ update, a Sampling Report is necessary for recording date of receipt, assigning a lab number, tests requested, as well as any other pertinent informa­tion regarding your seed lot.

New crop small grains and turf grasses may require extra germination time due to prechill requirements. Be sure to include the year of production on the Sampling Report.

Loose smut tests can be conducted on each barley field at the time of har­vest, eliminating the need for a smut test on every lot. Loose smut results must be included on the bulk sales certificate or seed tag.

A new fee schedule took effect July 1, 2021. To access the fee schedule, click here.


2021 Winter Grains Directory Published

MCIA has published the 2021 edition of our annual Winter Grains Directory. Growers can use the Winter Grains Directory to identify sources of certified and registered rye, triticale, and winter wheat seed. The Winter Grains Directory includes crop variety descriptions as well as producer location and contact information.

Additionally, the Winter Grains Directory includes information on the availability of rye and winter wheat foundation seed from the neighboring states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

To view the digital edition of the Winter Grains Directory, click here.


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.