Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 19, 2013

Farm Focus in Brief: 01/19/2013


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Organic farming

PETOSKEY — North Central Michigan College will offer workshops for farmers and gardeners starting Jan. 21 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Larry Dyer, Ph.D., agricultural ecology consultant, will teach the series intended to give participants a working knowledge of organic farm practices. The workshops will include classroom instruction, as well as hands-on practice in the community garden and field trips to area farms.

Topics include "Managing Soil Quality and Plant Nutrition" Jan. 21; "Farm and Garden Planning and Crop Rotation" Jan. 28;

"Using Cover Crops in Your Farm or Garden" Feb. 4; "Ecological Weed Management" Feb. 11; "Ecological Insect Management, Including Pests and Beneficial Insects" Feb. 18; "Ecological Disease Management" Feb. 25; "Holistic Management® For Whole Farm Planning" March 11; "Perennial Polyculture: Creating Diverse, Beautiful, and Bountiful Landscapes" March 18; "Organic Certification - Creating the Organic Systems Plan" March 25; and "Making and Using Compost" April 29.

The workshops are presented by Corporate and Community Education at North Central, the Michigan Land Use Institute and the USDA Risk Management Agency. All will be held on the Petoskey campus in Room 536 in the Student and Community Resource Center.

Each class is $25, or $200 for the entire series. Farmers receive a 50 percent discount. Sign up for the series and receive a certificate of completion or attend individual sessions.

For more information or to register, visit or call 348-6705.

New tree resources

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State University Tree Fruit Pathology Lab has recently released 12 short instructional videos on a variety of subjects for tree fruit growers. Major diseases of apples and cherries are covered, including apple scab, fire blight, apple canker disease and cherry leaf spot. Separate videos covering fungicide resistance management and in-depth summaries of individual fungicide groups will also be presented.

The videos are available on YouTube through the channel called "Tree Fruit Pathology."

Shoreline certification

EAST LANSING --The Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership will offer its Certified Natural Shoreline Professional training in Paw Paw and Milford in February.

Open to interested individuals statewide, the training equips marine and landscape contractors with the tools they need to expand their business services to better serve lakefront property owners looking for alternatives to seawalls, rock and turf to the water's edge. The fee is $375.

The three-day classroom component of the Paw Paw training will be held Feb. 5-7 at the Paw Paw District Library, with a certification exam and one-day field component June 5. In Milford, the classroom portion will take place Feb. 19-21 at Kensington Metropark, with exam and field work in Paw Paw June 6.

Seating is limited, so early registration is suggested. For more information, a short video and a downloadable registration form, visit, or call 269-383-8830.

Cost of production

EAST LANSING — Knowing the cost of production for cropping systems can help the producer's bottom line.

Find out how at the "Forage Cost of Production" Workshop offered Jan. 29-Feb. 1. MSU Extension is conducting identical one-day workshops in Alpena, Grand Rapids and Bad Axe.

The cost, including lunch, will be $30. To find out more and preregister, visit or call 810-667-0341.