Michiana Irrigation Association annual education meeting to be held Dec. 14, 2018, in Shipshewana

For over 30 years, the Michiana Irrigation Association has led the charge for irrigation education and research for Indian and Michigan irrigated agricultural industries.

Irrigation equipment

Within a two-hour drive of the Indiana Toll Road exit near Middlebury, Indiana, are over 680,000 acres of irrigated cropland in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. People living in the region refer to the area as Michiana. Farmers within the area formed an association more than 30 years ago to discuss how to improve irrigated productivity, ways to improve irrigation and protect ground and surface water resources. Thus, the Michiana Irrigation Association was born.

The Michiana Irrigation Association has offered an irrigation education program as part of their annual meeting. The 2018 Michiana Irrigation Association Winter Workshop will be Friday, Dec. 14, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST at the Blue Gate Garden Inn, 800 S Van Buren St (SR 5), Shipshewana, IN 46565.

Like previous years, the workshop agenda has updates on Indiana and Michigan water policy issues and legislative efforts affecting the availability and use of irrigation water. Updates will be given on irrigation water use impacts on the area’s natural resources and on producer led efforts to monitor groundwater levels in irrigated areas. The importance of network security for managing irrigation equipment and data will be addressed. More traditional irrigation topics this year include irrigation scheduling for wheat and grain sorghum and an economic comparison of irrigation energy sources and pumping equipment.

Michael Langemeier, Purdue University agricultural economist, will provide a commodity market outlook and income and expense projections that producers may be facing for the next few years. Representatives from companies that contract with growers to raise processing tomatoes, seed corn and potatoes will update the group on the future of irrigated production for these respective crops. Ending the day will be a quick look at tar spot, a new disease of concern for irrigated corn, by Bruce MacKellar, Michigan State University Extension field crops educator.

Certified Crop Advisers can get five CEUs, including four CEUs for Soil and Water Management. There will be no PARP credit available for Indiana private applicators. Michigan applicators may earn one RUP credit. Application for Indiana commercial applicator CCHs has been made.

All producers and irrigation industry professionals who register for the meeting become a Michiana Irrigation Association member. During the short business meeting just before lunch, they are eligible to vote for board members of the Michiana Irrigation Association.

Reservations are required to attend the annual meeting. Registration for the workshop is $35, which includes Michiana Irrigation Association dues and lunch. Please send a completed registration form by mail with a check made payable to Michiana Irrigation Association to:

MSU Extension, Attn: MIA Meeting
612 E Main St.
Centreville, MI 49032

You can also register by calling the St. Joseph County MSU Extension office at 269-467-5511.

Download the workshop agenda with registration form.

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