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State of Minnesota
S.F. No. 3536 - Agriculture Policy (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Bill Weber
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
Date: May 1, 2018


Section 1 [U of M agricultural data classified] classifies University of Minnesota data created on an agricultural data analysis platform as private or nonpublic data.

Section 2 [Aquaculture permits] provides that Pollution Control Agency (PCA) permits for saltwater aquatic farms must be classified as permits for agricultural operations.

Sections 3 to 5 [Definitions] define "saltwater aquaculture," "saltwater aquatic farm," and "saltwater aquatic life" for the purposes of regulation by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the PCA.

Section 6 [Transportation and importation of saltwater aquatic life] provides for transportation and importation of saltwater aquatic life into Minnesota that is in lieu of the general transportation and importation of aquatic life under the aquaculture statutes, since saltwater aquatic life will be unable to live in waters of the state.

Section 7 [Noxious weed control expense reimbursement] eliminates the requirement that the Commissioner of Agriculture must approve claims against public agencies for local noxious weed control actions taken because the public agency does not comply with a notice to control the noxious weeds.  This section also makes technical clarifying changes.

Section 8 [Technical] clarifies the definition of “drug” for the purposes of the commercial feed law.

Section 9 [Eggs in possession of a retailer] allows grade A eggs to be held by a retailer up to 46 days past the pack date, rather than the current 31 days for all eggs.

Section 10 [On-farm milk storage] provides that milk must not be stored in a farm bulk tank for more than 72 hours, unless the MDA waives the 72-hour restriction due to hardship, emergency, or natural disaster.

Section 11 [Dairy product labeling] allows dairy products from a state that does not have official plant numbers the option to be labeled with the name and address of the distributor.

Section 12 [Raw milk cheese labeling] requires a label on raw milk cheese that it has been aged at least 60 days.

Section 13 [Emergency food movement restrictions] clarifies that emergency food movement restrictions by the MDA are broader than those based solely on disease.

Section 14 [Biomass definition] defines “biomass” for the purpose of the three Bioeconomy producer incentive programs.

Section 15 [Renewable chemical definition] modifies the term “renewable chemical” for the purpose of the three Bioeconomy producer incentive programs.

Section 16 [Advanced biofuel producer payments; minimum production level] decreases the minimum advanced biofuel production level to 1,500 million metric British thermal units (MMbtu) from 23,750 MMbtu to be eligible for producer payments.  This section also makes technical changes.

Section 17 [Advanced biofuel producer payments; raw materials] adds oil and animal fats as raw materials that may be used to produce advanced biofuel and be eligible for producer payments.

Section 18 [Cellulosic biomass requirements; advanced biofuels] makes technical and clarifying changes related to advanced biofuel production incentive payments.

Section 19 [Renewable chemical producer payments; minimum production level] decreases the minimum renewable chemical production level to 250,000 pounds from 750,000 pounds to be eligible for producer payments.  This section also makes technical changes.

Section 20 [Renewable chemical producer payments clarification] clarifies blending of renewable chemicals and the eligibility for payment.

Section 21 [Cellulosic biomass requirements; renewable chemicals] makes technical and clarifying changes related to renewable chemical production incentive payments.

Section 22 [Biomass thermal producer payments clarification] makes technical changes to the biomass thermal production incentive eligibility.

Section 23 [Cellulosic biomass requirements; biomass thermal] makes technical and clarifying changes related to biomass thermal production incentive payments.

Section 24 [Livestock expansion loan program] expands the eligibility for the Rural Finance Authority’s (RFA’s) livestock expansion loan program to include the purchase of a livestock farm.

Section 25 [Beginning farmer tax credits eligibility] modifies definitions under the beginning farmer tax credit program to:

  1. eliminate the prohibition on eligibility for beginning farmers with an interest in the agricultural assets that will be purchased or rented;
  2. allow participation by the beginning farmer in financial management program within ten years; and
  3. allow for a waiver for participation in the financial management program for persons with degrees or experience in agriculture.

Sections 26 to 27 [Disaster recovery loan program] expands the RFA’s disaster recovery loan program to include market disaster or emergency.

Section 28 [Methane digester loan program] allows a borrower to receive more than one loan under the RFA’s methane digester loan program.

Section 29 [Livestock equipment loan program] increases the maximum loan under the RFA’s livestock equipment loan program to $100,000 from $40,000.

Section 30 [Farm opportunity loan program] increases the maximum loan under the RFA’s farm opportunity loan program to $100,000 for an individual from $45,000 and $250,000 for a group of four or more individuals from $180,000.

Section 31 [Water resource protection requirements; nitrogen fertilizer] requires specific approval by law before the Commissioner of Agriculture can adopt water resource protection requirements for nitrogen fertilizer.

Section 32 [Repealer] repeals the definitions of “biobased content” and “biobased formulated product” for the purpose of the bioeconomy production payments programs.


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