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MDA Grant Funds 11 Innovative Agriculture Projects

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has awarded Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grants (SADG) to eleven farmers and researchers across Minnesota. Projects will explore sustainable agriculture practices and systems that could make farming more profitable, resource efficient, and personally satisfying. The program has been supporting Minnesota farmers for 28 years.

“Farmers know best when it comes to profitability, resource and asset management,” said Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “Innovation does cost, and by helping reduce the cost of testing new ideas and innovations, we are hoping the partnership will produce sustainable agricultural practices for the future.”

Projects, which last two to three years, are located in all regions of the state and involve a number of innovative topics that include cover cropping, irrigation, grazing, fertigation techniques, and poultry production techniques.

Jerry and Nancy Ackerman, a FY 2018 SADG recipient from Lakefield, used their grant to research the impact of cover crops on soil, “The purpose of this project is to determine if cover crops have an effect on soil moisture and soil temperature. The farmers in southwest Minnesota are looking for a way to better utilize their costly nutrient inputs, protect our water resource, and protect their crops during flooding and drought conditions within the same growing season.”

All projects take place on Minnesota farms and their findings are summarized in the annual Greenbook, available at Results from FY 2018 grantees will be included in upcoming Greenbook publications.

Applications for the FY 2019 AGRI SADG are being accepted until December 12 at 4:00 pm. Projects from farmers receive priority, but nonprofit and educational organizations are also invited to apply. Projects may be funded at up to $50,000. Full details and the online application are available at


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