Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 9, 2013

Farm Focus in Brief: 03/09/2013

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Tractor safety for teens

TRAVERSE CITY — Teens can improve their chances of employment by completing tractor safety training.

Michigan State University Extension will host a 4-H Tractor Safety Program for 14- and 15-year-olds on Thursdays, April 4, 11, 18 and 25, from 6-9 p.m. at the NW Michigan Horticultural Research Station, 6686 S. Center Highway, near Traverse City. The written and driving test will be held Saturday, April 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Participants must attend all five sessions to become certified.

The cost is $75 per person, with some scholarships available. To be eligible, participants must be 14 years old by June 1, 2013.

Space is limited. The registration deadline is March 26. Registration forms are available online at Call the MSU Extension office for more information at 256-9888.

Seedling sale open house

TRAVERSE CITY — The Grand Traverse Conservation District will hold an open house on Thursday, March 14, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. to showcase the native seedling species offered during its Annual Seedling Sale.

Those interested in native trees and shrubs can come to the Boardman River Nature Center to learn more about dozens of species of conifers, hardwoods and shrubs available for purchase.Talk with local experts who can inform you about species that are right for your landscape and proper ways to care for them.

Since the days following the “Dust Bowl” era in the 1940s, the Grand Traverse Conservation District has been hosting an Annual Seedling Sale. Once offered to help farmers manage their lands and crops, it has grown to include anyone looking to restore their landscape at home.

Only native species are offered during the Seedling Sale. Visit to learn more information and to register for the open house.

Fruit management guide available

EAST LANSING — The 2013 Michigan Fruit Management Guide is available at the Michigan State University Extension Bookstore.

The annually updated fruit bulletin contains current information and pesticide recommendations for Michigan fruit growers. The guide includes general pesticide and crop-specific information, as well as up-to-date tips on related issues such as the safe use of pesticides, environmental protection, integrated pest management and new and emerging pests.

The print version of “E-154,” the Michigan Fruit Management Guide, is available for $25. A PDF format is $20.

For more information, visit

Water use reports due April 1

LANSING — Michigan Agricultural Large Volume Water Use reports are due to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development by April 1.

Without permission from MDARD, the only legitimate method of reporting is the new online system. During this first year, producers are expected to build a database within the reporting system by reviewing records back to 2004 and loading registered water withdrawals into the new online system.

Large volume water use is defined as the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day (70 gallons per minute). Large volume water use reporting is required for all agricultural water uses (irrigation, cooling, animal, watering, etc.) from both surface and groundwater withdrawals.

Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program technicians located at many county USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offices have been trained to assist producers in completing the large volume water use reporting requirement.

For more information, contact Abigail Eaton at or (517) 241-3933 for assistance or other options. The online reporting website is at

Seeds are theme of presentation

TRAVERSE CITY — The Cherryland Garden Club presents Brenin Wertz-Roth, owner of Giving Tree Farm and Nursery, at Central United Methodist Church Tuesday, March 12, at 7 p.m.

Wertz-Roth will share his experiences in seed starting, seed saving, plant breeding and grafting. He is also a vendor at the Traverse City Farmers Market, specializing in vegetable starts and edible landscaping plants. Guests are welcome.RSVP to Gayle Esper at 228-6720.