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2017 Program Summaries

2017 Program Summaries

September 22, 2017

Enviro-weather       

To assist Michigan producers with pest, plant production and natural resource management decisions, Enviro-weather provides weather data from a network of stations located throughout the state. Enviro-weather data are shared with other weather groups across the region and are also used in college and university classrooms to teach students about topics such as weather, agriculture and pest management. Since the creation of the Enviro-weather program, data requests have grown from 96 on average per day to more than 450 in 2015.

Project GREEEN funds supported:

  • Two tower stations added to the Enviro-weather network to provide real-time, cross-sectional temperature and wind information to fruit growers for monitoring low-level inversions and making decisions related to wind machine-based frost protection.
  • Along with the two tower sites, three additional standard stations were added within the past year: Benona/Shelby, Michigan; Kewaunee, Wisconsin; and Grant, Michigan.
  • Operational upgrades including strategic network and system modernization, as well as routine weather network maintenance.
     

MSU Land Management Office

The Land Management Office utilizes Project GREEEN funding to help keep MSU AgBioResearch centers operating. Funds are often used for new equipment and skilled labor positions. Many research centers were able to provide maintenance and repair services to infrastructure in 2016-17 through Project GREEEN, as well as funding for field trials, pest management and more. The Clarksville Research Center, for example, was able to use funding to undertake asphalt and landscape projects.

Several research center projects also benefited from Project GREEEN dollars, including:

  • Potato breeding and potato blight trials.
  • Breeding new varieties of sour cherries that have improved fruit quality and disease resistance.
  • Spotted wing drosophila monitoring in fruit crops at multiple research centers.
  • Dry bean white mold research.
  • The preparation of three acres for new apple and plum plantings at Trevor Nichols Research Center.
     

The Plant Biotechnology Research and Outreach Center

The MSU Plant Biotechnology Research and Outreach Center (PBROC) offers research support to specialty crop producers in Michigan and outreach programs that deal with molecular breeding and the environmental biosafety of genetically engineered crops. This year, provided consultation to more than 30 scientists.

With funds from Project GREEEN, PBROC scientists were able to:

  • Develop transformation protocols for grape and alfalfa.
  • Develop transformation systems for dry bean, wheat, barley, soybean and corn.
  • Provide short- and long-term training on plant biotechnology.
     

Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division uses Project GREEEN funds to support the division’s export manager and a plant pest specialist. These staff members trained industry participants and maintained phytosanitary certification protocols for fresh blueberry fruit exported to Canada. Seven growers were enrolled in the Blueberry Certification Program in 2016.

With support from Project GREEEN, these two MDARD professionals:

  • For the 15th consecutive year, cooperate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the U.S. Apple Committee and MSU Extension to implement an apple certification program in accord with Mexico's phytosanitary requirements.
  • The  export  manager  provided  pest  and  disease  prevalence data  to  the  USDA  in support of a pest risk  assessment  for export of  straw  and  processed  straw  pellets  to India.
  • The export manager worked with USDA Export Services to facilitate Chilean agricultural officials’ approval authorizing a Michigan firm to export potato mini­tubers into that country.
  • The plant pest specialist coordinated trapping programs, trap maintenance and pest identification activities at survey sites and export blocks. Traps were used to detect apple maggot, blueberry maggot and European corn borer.
  • The plant pest specialist audited treatment records and inspection reports, and coordinated trapping programs, to help ensure compliance with the phytosanitary requirements of states and countries, primarily Mexico and Canada, that import Michigan nursery stock, Christmas trees, apple fruit and blueberry fruit.
     

The MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio

Fundamental to the mission of MSU Extension is working with entrepreneurs to grow businesses, create jobs and strengthen the economic vitality of individuals and communities. Food and agriculture are a driving force in Michigan’s economy, with an MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio report showing that the agriculture system generates more than $100 billion of economic activity every year.

The MSU Product Center strengthens this important sector of the economy by connecting food entrepreneurs with innovation counselors who offer the latest research and best practices, identify markets, innovate new products and help guide the process from concept to launch.

The center’s statewide network of counselors help both new and established businesses deliver high-value products to consumers in Michigan and throughout the United States.

In 2016-17, MSU Product Center professionals conducted 4,164 counseling sessions with 689 clients, resulting in:

  • Nearly $53.4 million in total capital formation, including more than $4.6 million of owner capital investment in Michigan businesses.
  • 91 new ventures launched.
  • 947 jobs created or retained.
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