News and Info

MCPR’s Antitrust Guidelines

MNDOR Informs Your County Assessor of the Correct Manner of Tax Treatment for Your Agricultural Containment Facilities
Recently the MN Department of Revenue (MNDOPR) send an advisory to Minnesota County Assessors addressing the tax treatment of agricultural containment facilities. They point out that this has been an area of inconsistent property tax administration in the State of Minnesota. The bulletin (below) provides guidance on administering the agricultural containment facilities exemption. The guidance clarifies the current law and was developed after input from the assessment community and property owners. MNDOR realizes this guidance will affect counties in different ways depending on their current treatment of agricultural containment facilities but intend this guidance now to clarify current law and allow counties time to properly administer the exemption for assessment year 2016.
Minnesota’s exemption for certain real property items that contain agricultural chemicals has been in place since 1992. While the law has not changed, farming technology and practices have changed over the past 23 years. In particular, reliance on liquid agricultural chemicals has diminished since that time, while the storage and containment for dry agricultural chemicals has increased dramatically. Also, many large facilities have been constructed to store and contain dry agricultural chemicals in recent years. Assessors brought forward questions about how current law applies to these modern practices in 2012. MNDOR issued this guidance to require consistent administration of current law for the 2016 assessment.
Read the bulletin

OSHA Rescinds the "Retailer Exemption"

Process safety management (PSM) has been a popular topic these last few days, especially since OSHA's announcement on July 22nd rescinding the retail exemption. Bypassing the rulemaking process, which involves the opportunity for public comments, OSHA changed the rules. PSM first hit mainstream radar back around 2000 when OSHA interpreted a retail facility to be one that derived more than 50 percent of its income from direct sales of highly hazardous chemicals to the end user, otherwise known as "the 50 percent test."

For most ammonia facilities this was welcome relief at the time from a rule originally developed for manufacturing facilities. PSM popped back up on the radar screen as a result of the West Fertilizer explosion and the President's August 1, 2013, Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.

Read a Q & A developed by Asmark Institute.

White House Pollinator Plan - Five Things You Need to Know About the Announcement
Read the article here.

Why All This Buzz About Bee Population and Bee Health?
Read the WSJ article.

Target the right people with fertilizer education: who influences decision makers? Results from producer and dealer surveys points to MCPR members. Click below for further info:
Research funded by AFREC (MN Agricultural Fertilizer Education and Research Council) produced by Michael A. Schmitt, Associate Dean for Research and Extension, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Professor, Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota.

Outstanding Star Tribune Front Page Article Featuring Marty Amundson and Craig Breuer (farmers near Zumbrota) and Dr. David Mulla (UM) on Precision Ag applications
Read the article

Warren Formo, MN Ag Water Resource Center, Confronting Slanted Information in a Recent Star Tribune Article
Read Warren's response here.

"The Irrational Fear of GM Food” – a Wall Street Journal story.
Read it here.

FDA updated Q&A on “Food from Genetically Engineered Plants"
Click to read.

GMO Activist Recent Presentation in Europe
“Lecture to Oxford Farming Conference, 3 January 2013 by Mark Lynas -  “I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologize for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonizing an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment. As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely.”

George Rehm's Published Letter to the Editor in the 2-14-13 Agri-News Paper on GMO's.
Letter to the Editor

Mark Lynas, Environmentalist who Opposed GMOs, Admits he was Wrong.
Read the article.

MN Supreme Court Rejects Pesticide Trepass – a win for our industry!
Read MN Supreme Court Rejects Pesticide Trespass - By Jeff Peterson, Gray Plant Mooty

Organic Foods no Safer than Conventionally Produced Ag Products
Read the review from the Annals of Internal Medicine Journal.

Setting the Record Straight - The Activists Have Been Stepping Up Their Attacks in the Media on Atrazine
Read the 2-page document distributed at the Commodity Classic, which is very well done and addresses all of the false claims that seem to be repeated by the activists.

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