Field Crops Virtual Breakfast series

This free weekly series for farmers and agribusinesses focuses on a wide array of relevant field crop pest and crop management topics during the growing season.

With the start of spring, farmers should get ready for a new season of highs and probably some lows as the growing season starts to unfold. Farmers prepare during fall, winter and early spring for what lies ahead, but it’s always the unknown that keeps it interesting and fresh. Ultimately, the fact that every year is different keeps producers coming back for more year after year. Farming is a profession that requires a certain amount of faith concerning things beyond our control such as weather, potential pests and crop prices.

To assist farmers as they prepare for potential issues and concerns during the growing season, Michigan State University Extension will host the Field Crops Virtual Breakfast series beginning Thursday, March 31, through Sept. 22, 7 to 8 a.m. This weekly, Thursday morning webinar is in its fifth year. Farmers, agribusiness personnel and others interested in agriculture can interact with MSU Extension specialists and educators to get answers for their questions.

Not matter whether you are an experienced farmers or a beginner just starting out, participants can expect to learn something to add value to their farm. An added benefit is that Michigan pesticide applicators or Certified Crop Advisors can easily accumulate credits over the summer to help recertify their credential if they attend enough sessions.

Sign up for the Field Crops Virtual Breakfast

Topic areas are loosely established at the beginning of the series based on historical trends. However, the Virtual Breakfast Series is flexible, fluid and able to adapt when issues arise due to unforeseen growing conditions. Each week features a timely, 20-minute topic from an MSU specialist followed by Jeff Andresen, MSU Extension climatologist, presenting a 15-minute weather summary and forecast.

Following the weather, restricted use pesticide (RUP) applicators receive the information to one RUP credit (1A, 1B, Comm or Priv Core) and Certified Crop Advisors (CCA) can receive one continuing education unit (CEU). After RUP and CCA credit information, attendees can leave or stay for a less formal discussion with farmers, educators and specialists that lasts until 8 a.m.

“Thank you; this is part of my Thursday morning routine during the growing season. You are doing a great job!!” – 2021 Virtual Breakfast participant

In addition to the scheduled speaker for the day, other MSU campus specialists and educators with field crops responsibility are frequently part of the call and are available to answer any questions related to relevant circumstances happening in their area. Participant input and feedback have been critical in the development of this series and will continue to shape the program.

Weekly schedule

  • 7-7:20 a.m. — Scheduled topic by MSU specialists
  • 7:20-7:35 a.m.— Weather with Jeff Andresen
  • 7:35 a.m. — RUP and CCA credits
  • 7:37-8 a.m. — Q&A with MSU specialists and educators

Scheduled topics and dates

  • March 31 — Early Season Weed Control with Christy Sprague
  • April 7 — Soil Fertility with Kurt Steinke
  • April 14 — Forage Fertility with Kim Cassida
  • April 21 — Corn and Soybean Planting Considerations with Manni Singh
  • April 28 — Apps for Weed/Plant Identification with Erin Hill
  • May 5 — Postemergence Weed Control with Erin Burns
  • May 12 — Head Scab in Wheat with Marty Chilvers
  • May 19 — Sidedress Corn Recommendations with Kurt Steinke
  • May 26 — Dry Bean Planting with Scott Bales
  • June 2 — Hot Topic Q&A session
  • June 9 — How to Get the Best out of Your Drainage System with Ehsan Ghane
  • June 16 — White Mold Management in Soybean with Marty Chilvers
  • June 23 — Irrigation in Michigan with Lyndon Kelley and Younsuk Dong
  • June 30 — Cover Crops After Wheat with Brook Wilke
  • July 7 — Tar Spot in Corn with Marty Chilvers
  • July 14 — Sugarbeet Cyst Nematode Management with Daniel Bublitz
  • July 21 — Hot Topic Q&A session
  • July 28 —Bugs and More Bugs with Chris DiFonzo
  • Aug. 4 — Alfalfa Planting Recommendations with Kim Cassida
  • Aug. 11 — Combat Excess Water in a Changing Climate with Ehsan Ghane
  • Aug. 18 — Carbon Market Update with Matthew Gammans
  • Aug. 25 — Hot Topic Q&A session
  • Sept. 1 — Nematode Management Updates in Field Crops with Marisol Quintanilla
  • Sept. 8 — Reducing Soybean Harvest Losses with Mike Staton
  • Sept. 15 — Herbicide Resistance? Now is the Time to Check! with Erin Hill
  • Sept. 22 — Fall Weed Control with Christy Sprague

“I really like how you allow us to go back and view presentations that we missed. It is great to have front rows seat with experts… 2021 ran very smoothly. Topics were timely.” – 2021 Virtual Breakfast participant

Participating is easy and free! You can join the live meeting via Zoom using a computer, tablet, mobile device or regular phone line. If you are new to Zoom, simply download the Zoom app and you will be ready to join online every week to see visuals shared by presenters. A call-in by phone option is also available but note that you will only hear the audio portion.

Participants must sign up to receive an email notification with instructions for joining the Virtual Breakfast. You only need to do this once and you will receive the Zoom link and call-in phone number, as well as weekly reminders every Wednesday and Thursday. Participants receiving emails can opt in or out at any time.

Sign up to receive Virtual Breakfast Zoom information

If you cannot participate in the live session at 7 a.m., you can view the recorded version at any time. However, only the live session will be eligible for RUP and CCA credits. Recordings will be closed-captioned and available at the Field Crops Virtual Breakfast webpage and the MSU Extension Field Crops Team social media platforms: FacebookSpotifyYouTubeApple Podcasts and Twitter.

If you are unable to sign up online, call the Lapeer County MSU Extension office at 810-667-0341.