Research at the Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center has allowed Michigan producers to be national leaders in sugar beet and dry bean production.
Most of the dry bean and sugar beet production in Michigan is located in the Thumb and Saginaw Valley areas. Michigan is the No. 1 producer of black beans, the No. 2 producer of all dry beans and the No. 4 producer of sugar beets in the country. Research at the center has allowed Michigan producers to be national leaders in sugar beet and dry bean production, offering growers the latest information on crop management and tillage techniques, new variety trials, and pest and weed control with minimal environmental impact. In addition to dry bean and sugar beet research, studies at the 310-acre site explore other important rotational crops including corn, wheat and soybeans.
A team of Michigan State University (MSU) researchers has begun investigating organic methods for controlling fire blight, a devastating apple and pear tree disease.
The MSU Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center will host its annual field day and research tour Aug. 21 beginning at 9 a.m. Topics of discussion include sugar beets, dry edible beans and other crops studied in the Saginaw Valley region.
A 2011 survey of 1,000 fruit growers indicates that Enviro-weather helped to save at least $1.7 million in grower costs. Growers surveyed also indicated an estimated 7 million pounds in increased crop yield.