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Jonathan Knutson / Agweek

Minnesota corn group brings back conservation funding

For the fourth straight year, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association is offering to help corn farmers pay for conservation-minded research.

The Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program is accepting proposals "focused on innovation solutions to preventing both nitrogen and phosphorous loss to ground and surface water. Each accepted proposal will feature novel practices related to improved nitrogen and/or phosphorus management on a field scale program," according to the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

Farmers will be eligible for up to $7,000 per year. Proposals must be applied for, and conducted by, an active Minnesota farmer subject to the Minnesota corn check-off.

"Minnesota's corn growers are taking a proactive approach to improving nutrient management, and the Innovation Grant Program continues to be a great avenue for farmers to put their idea to the test," Paul Meints, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior research director, said in a written statement.

Twelve projects received funding through the program in 2017; each focused on preventing nitrogen loss. This year's program was expanded to "improve phosphorus management, which has been a focus for farmers in the Red River Valley, specifically," according to the corn group.

Since it began, the program has invested about $400,000 in 40 farmer-led research projects, ranging from novel approaches in cover crop systems to state-of-the-art drip irrigation.

To learn more about the Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program, visit www.mncorn.org/2018/08/06/2019-innovation-grant-program-rfp-open-minnesotas-corn-growers/. The application deadline is Dec. 31. To submit a proposal, visit " target="_blank">www.mncorn.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/RFP-MN-Corn-FY2019-Innovation-Grant.pdf.