Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

December 29, 2012

Agriculture in Brief: 12/29/12


Growing Michigan

EAST LANSING — Michigan State University Extension is holding a "Growing Michigan" conference Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lansing Center in Lansing. The one-day conference will feature information to help Michigan producers maximize their farms' potential.

MSU professor and veterinarian Julie Funk will discuss how reemerging food safety issues could affect Michigan agriculture and how improved diagnostics can help producers protect their commodities. A team of MSU specialists will discuss strategic and global perspectives on feed availability, volatile feed costs and prices received, variable feed quality, increasing on-farm storage capabilities, exports and a structurally changing global feed industry.

Bernie Erven of The Ohio State University will talk about recruiting, hiring and keeping top-notch labor. Producers can learn how to incorporate and effectively apply precision ag technology to gain efficiencies and increase farm profits during a presentation by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Joe Luck.

Donald Reicosky, soil scientist emeritus at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, will discuss how producers can manage soil to improve infiltration and water-holding capacity. Other highlights include a lunchtime producer panel, with a second panel discussing lessons learned from the challenging 2012 growing season.

Registration fee is $50 and includes lunch. Register online at, or call 517-353-3175, Ext. 229.

Soil program set

TRAVERSE CITY — An educational program focusing on the topic of soil will be hosted by the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Boardman River Nature Center, 1450 Cass.

Kirk Waterstripe will present "The History of Organic Matter in Soil," followed by a presentation on "Regenerative Soil Care" with Craig Schaaf.

The educational program will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the speakers each presenting approximately 45 minutes. For anyone interested in arriving earlier, a potluck will run from 6 to 6:30 p.m. in conjunction with a brief business meeting. A suggested donation of $5 to $10 at the door will help cover speaker expenses.

To ask questions or RSVP, call 256-8323.

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