Improving Your Process, Enhancing Your Products, Increasing Your Profits


UMN Announces VDF Fee Increase for Wheat Varieties

Wheat field. Photo by David Hansen. © Regents of the University of Minnesota.

Effective July 1, 2022, the University of Minnesota’s VDF (Variety Development Fund) fee, which supports the UMN’s variety research and development program, will increase to $0.75 per bushel for all registered and certified seed sold of wheat varieties (both old and new) released by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

This means that all seed of these varieties sold before July 1, 2022, will be assessed at the old fee rate, and all seed sold on or after that date will be assessed at the new $0.75 per bushel rate.

Here is a list of affected varieties:

  • Bolles
  • Lang-MN
  • Linkert
  • MN-Rothsay
  • MN-Torgy
  • MN-Washburn
  • RB07
  • Rollag
  • Sabin
  • Shelly

You will find fee schedules for all of MCIA’s services and programs posted on the Client Resources page of this website. Please contact President/CEO Fawad Shah or Foundation Seed Services Manager Roger Wippler if you have questions.

Partnership for Local and Regional Markets Conducts Producer Survey

The Statewide Cooperative Partnership for Local and Regional Markets asks all Minnesota farmers selling at least $500 in annual sales of local ag products to fill out their producer survey by May 31, 2022.

Purpose of the Survey

Collecting this data will help the Partnership:

  • Supplement the USDA Agricultural Census with data about farmers and markets not fully represented in the Ag Census.
  • Support the development of data-informed programs and services for small and mid-sized farms, including emerging farmers. Data from this survey will serve as a foundation for the creation of a Minnesota Grown strategic plan to re-envision this important state promotional program for farmers selling in Minnesota.
  • Strengthen recommendations to the state legislature that support historically under-represented and under-supported farmers.

How to Participate

You can respond to the survey through this link: To request a paper copy, please contact Casey at

Farmers can choose between a long or short version. The long survey takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Only one response per farm is allowed and compensation is available. Farm name, contact and location information is classified as private and not made public, though aggregate data will be made available.


Background: Starting in 2020, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture joined with the University of Minnesota on the Statewide Cooperative Partnership for Local and Regional Markets with funding from the USDA Federal State Marketing Improvement Program. Currently, the Partnership is a group of 40+ organizations that provide input on the diverse experiences of small- and mid-sized producers, retailers, and consumers across the state.

April 30 Application Deadline for Hemp Growers and Processors

Hemp plant. Image by herbalhemp from Pixabay.

Those wanting to grow and process hemp in Minnesota in 2022 must apply for a license with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) by April 30. To date, over 200 people have applied for an MDA license.

The online application for growers and processors can be found on the MDA website at Along with the online form, first-time applicants need to submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check.

This is the seventh year of the state’s Industrial Hemp Program. Last year, 425 people held licenses to grow or process hemp. Over 2,800 acres and 318,713 indoor square feet were planted in Minnesota.

There are several changes to the 2022 program. They include:

  • The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) testing fee per grower sample has been reduced from $125 to $100 each.
  • Previously, growers were not invoiced for the cost of the first sample; however, fees now will be charged for each sample collected.
  • The MDA will begin inspecting processor locations. This was not done in the past.
  • The processor license fee remains at $250, but each processing location will cost $250. Therefore, the minimum cost of a processing license will be $500.

The fee changes bring Minnesota into better alignment with other states and will help adequately fund the MDA’s Hemp Program.

Anyone growing on tribal lands within a reservation’s boundaries or other lands under tribal jurisdiction (e.g., trust lands off-reservation) must obtain a license from the tribe or the USDA if the tribe does not have an approved hemp production plan.

Questions about the MDA’s Hemp Program should be sent to or 651-201-6600. Read MDA’s full press release on this topic here.

Seed Laboratory Update

Soybean sand germination. Photo © MCIA.

Seed growers, if you haven’t submitted your seed samples for testing, do so now!

Verifying that seed standards are met is one of the last steps in the certification process.

 Germination tests take at least seven days, and HPLC for wheat and oat variety ID testing can sometimes take longer. Rush service can be requested.

Be sure the info on your sampling report is complete and accurate.


For additional information about MCIA’s Seed Laboratory, please visit

Foundation Seed Reminders

Wheat seed. Photo by David Hansen. © Regents of the University of Minnesota.

We remind participants in MCIA’s Foundation Seed Program that full payment is due before you can pick up your foundation seed.

Also, remember to contact the seed distributor in advance to make arrangements to pick up your seed.

Call MCIA’s Foundation Seed Services at 612-625-7766 to order additional seed or if you have questions about the program.


For additional information about MCIA’s Foundation Seed Services, please visit

Dan Krenz Honored with Visionary Star Ag Award

Anne Johnson presents Dan Krenz (left) with the Visionary Star Ag Award. Photo courtesy Redwood Area Chamber & Tourism.

The Redwood Area Chamber & Tourism presented their Visionary Star Ag Award to MCIA Field Supervisor Dan Krenz at the Chamber’s annual gala in Redwood Falls on April 2, 2022.

The award honors an area ag producer or ag-related businessperson who works to better the community and educate and advocate for agriculture. The award recognizes individuals in the field of agriculture who give of themselves, their time, their talents, and their resource to the Redwood Falls community in such a way that the entire community benefits.

In a prepared statement, Anne Johnson, Executive Director of the Redwood Area Chamber & Tourism, said, “Dan Krenz has been engaged in the Chamber Ag Committee for more than five years and continues to rise to the occasion. Dan gives of his time and talents and helps with Fifth Grade Ag Day, promotes our industry regularly, and even recently spent a day at Reed Gray Elementary reading agriculture stories during Ag Week. He has also shared his love for ag with the I Met a Farmer Tour and supported and promoted the Chamber Ag Golf Days.”

His nominator writes of Dan, “We are grateful for his passion and continued desire to promote agriculture and the wide array of careers ag provides.”

Congratulations Dan!


For more information about the Redwood Area Chamber & Tourism, please visit

Lacey Barley Under Plant Variety Protection Until June 10

Barley field. Photo © MCIA.

The PVP (Plant Variety Protection) certificate for Lacey barley will expire after June 10, 2022. However, according to the USDA PVP office, growers who plant Lacey barley this spring, before the expiration date, must produce and sell it as certified seed.

Note that after PVP expires, growers selling the seed must still identify it by the variety name ‘Lacey.’

For more information on this topic, please visit the Plant Variety Protection page of the USDA’s website:

How to Report Illegal Seed Sales

While many producers respect the seed laws, there are some who seek to gain an unfair advantage. The Farmers’ Yield Initiative works to encourage compliance with existing seed laws.

Please consider submitting a confidential tip to help put a stop to illegal seed trade. The caller can remain anonymous, and the call is toll-free, 1-877-482-5907.

Visit for more information.

Plan for Field Inspection Applications

Photo by David Mark from Pixabay.


Each year, there are some growers from whom we do not initially receive all the information necessary to complete field inspection. In those cases, we need to do follow-up work. So, as the planting season begins, we remind field inspection clients to keep accurate records and:

  • Save your proof of seed source (tags or bulk certificates).
  • Maintain proper isolation between varieties and other crops.
  • New varieties—we need a variety description to complete inspections and pass fields; you will find the forms you need online or contact the MCIA office for assistance.

Your MCIA field supervisor or the MCIA Office staff can answer any questions you may have about the field inspection process.

Field Inspection Application Deadlines

Please note these dates to avoid late fees:

  • June 7: Small grains, corn, and sunflowers
  • June 7 or 3 weeks after planting (whichever is first): Soybean post-spray inspections
  • June 7: Soybean bloom inspections
  • July 15: Soybeans (pre-harvest inspection only)
  • Year of seeding: Perennials
  • 4 weeks prior to cutting: Noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch
  • Within 18 months of the year established for native grasses and forbs

We will mail information packets for Field Inspection Applications in May. Application forms and instructions are also available on the Client Resources page of the MCIA website.

USDA Publishes Origin of Livestock Final Rule for Organic Dairy

On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the highly anticipated Origin of Livestock (OOL) final rule for organic dairy in the Federal Register. This change to the USDA organic regulations is intended to promote a fairer and more competitive market for organic diary producers by ensuring that certified USDA organic dairy products are produced to a consistent standard.

USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) will oversee the new rule, which in general:

  • Allows a dairy livestock operation transitioning to organic, or starting a new organic farm, to transition non-organic animals one time.
  • Prohibits organic dairies from sourcing any transitioned animals. Once a dairy is certified organic, animals must be managed as organic from the last third of gestation. Variances may be requested by small businesses for specific scenarios.

This final rule is effective June 6, 2022. Certified organic operations must comply with all provisions of this final rule by April 5, 2023.

See the infographic, below, for a summary of the Origin of Livestock final rule. To view the text of the rule, visit:

OOL Final Rule Infographic

Informational Webinar

On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, from 1:00pm-1:30pm Eastern, NOP will hold an informational webinar to provide an overview of the changes this rule makes to the USDA organic regulations and how they may impact organic farms and businesses.

Webinar details:


MCIA is a USDA NOP-accredited Accredited Certifying Agent that provides organic certification services to operations in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. For more information about MCIA Organic Services, please visit: