Michigan State University Extension’s 2020 winter meetings offer updates on pest and crop management as well necessary information on new regulations.
Michigan State University Extension is offering meetings on a diverse set of commodities and topics. Whether you are looking for information about pests, horticulture, regulations or just after some RUP credits, there is something for most.
For vegetable growers
General vegetable production meetings are scheduled in key vegetable production areas in Michigan’s east side. These meetings will provide updates on insects, diseases and more. Follow the links below for times, locations, agendas and registration.
- Bay Vegetable Meeting – Jan. 23 in Frankenmuth, Michigan
- Southeast Michigan Winter Vegetable Meeting – Feb. 4 in Dundee, Michigan
- Thumb Vegetable Meeting – Feb. 6 in Attica, Michigan
For fruit growers
The East Michigan Spring Tree Fruit meeting is scheduled for March 30 in Flint, Michigan. The meeting will run from 8:30 to 1 p.m. Save the date, watch for registration to open and contact Bob Tritten with questions.
For produce growers
The roll out of the Food Safety Modernization Act continues, and more fruit and vegetable farms are reaching their compliance date. If you are growing, harvesting, packing or holding fresh produce, it is important to have the rule’s education requirement completed. The Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training on Jan. 16 in Capac, Michigan, is a free, all-day class covering the Produce Safety Rule and the basics of food safety.
For hops and barley growers
The Great Lakes Hops and Barley Conference is being held in Ypsilanti, Michigan, from March 5 through 7. There will be tracks for beginners and pros, and topics will include horticulture, pests, harvest, profitability and more. For more information, visit the great lakes hop and barley conference webpage.
For field crop growers
The 2020 Pest and Crop Management Update Meeting series jumps around the state, providing half a day of updates on weeds, pests and more. Eastside dates and locations include:
For those interested in updates on on-farm soybean research, the 2020 Soybean Management and Research (SMaRT) Meetings have relevant information.
There will also be a series of webinars on a wide range of topics. The Field Crops Webinar Series will be held on Monday evenings from 7-8 p.m. between Feb. 10 and March 30. For topics, speakers and registration information, visit the Field Crops Webinar Series 2020 webpage.
If you are looking to diversify and get into organic or alternative grain production, a Feb. 18 meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan, can give you more information. The Organics and Alternative Markets for Field Crops meeting will give information about potential markets and production. For an agenda and registration, visit the Organics and Alternative Markets for Field Crops event webpage.
For those producing dry beans or sugarbeets, the 2020 Dry Bean and Sugarbeet Symposium will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 21 in Saginaw, Michigan. Contact Tom Wenzel for more information.
For those familiarizing themselves with the Farm Bill
A series of Farm Bill commodity meetings are being held around the state. These free, two-hour meetings help you make decisions based on current Farm Bill provisions and the current market outlook.
- Jan. 9 in Corunna
- Jan. 14 in Hillsdale
- Jan. 14 in Jackson
- Jan. 16 in Midland
- Jan. 21 in West Branch
- Jan. 23 in Bad Axe
- Jan. 23 in Caro
For dairy producers
The Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference brings together leading experts on topics ranging from genetics to nutrition to help producers increase their profitability. The 2020 Conference is scheduled Feb. 6-8 in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Visit the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference event page for more information and registration.
For those preparing for the pesticide CORE exam
Pesticide reviews are being held by multiple MSU educators across the east side. Click on the location/date below for full information and to register.
- Jan. 10 in Caro – Contact Bob Battel
- Jan. 23 in Bad Axe – Contact Bob Battel
- Feb. 19 in Jackson
- Feb. 25 in Hillsdale
- March 20 in Adrian
- March 26 in Owosso
- March 30 in Hillsdale
- April 15 in Ann Arbor
- April 21 in Jackson
- May 20 in Ann Arbor
If you are looking for credits for recertification, the above class offer credits, as do many of the topic-specific meetings discussed in this article.
If you are looking for category-specific offerings, MSU Extension is offering a full-day review of the General Pest Management (Category 7A) on Monday, Jan. 6 and the Right-of-Way Pest Management Category (Category FUM) on Jan. 8 in Ann Arbor. For full information and registration, contact the Lenawee County Extension Office at 517-264-5300.
If you would like to sign up for an examination time, visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s webpage. There you can find an exam time near you or take the exam online.
For beginning farmers
Location doesn’t matter when it comes to the Beginning Farmer Webinar series. This year’s slate of talks includes soil health, cottage food, hemp, CSAs and more. For a full list of webinars, dates and registration, see Beginning Farmer Webinar Series 2020.
For useful information beyond winter meeting season
To keep up with relevant research, news and events in your area, subscribe to a weekly MSU Extension newsletter. These weekly emails come right to your inbox and highlight MSU Extension information in a timely manner—for example, when insects are becoming active or when a plant disease is moving into the state. To subscribe, visit the MSU Extension News Digest sign-up page.