MSU Extension News replaced CAT Alerts

The old CAT Alert system is still in place, but its name has changed to Michigan State University Extension News.

The Crop Advisory Team (CAT) Alerts were timely field-season updates from around Michigan that kept growers up to date on the latest production issues. Inclement weather, pest migrations and disease developments were all reported by Michigan State University Extension field staff and their networks of collaborating scouts, industry reps and growers. In 2011, CAT Alerts were bundled into something called MSU Extension News. Despite publicity about this change, somehow it did not reach many of the growers we now serve, and I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to the site to help you get the most out of it.

MSU Extension News is a part of MSU Extension’s web presence that often gets republished by other digital and print media organizations, and includes miniature bulletins on crop production techniques, advertisements for upcoming events, and in-season crop updates (like the old CAT Alerts). 

To view MSU Extension News, go to and click on the “Agriculture” tab. You will be brought to a page devoted to showcasing the most recent news articles, bulletins, upcoming events and updates related to Agriculture in general. If you click on any of the tabs on the left-hand side of the page, you will be taken to another section of the website devoted to categorizing information related to that very topic. In the winter you will see all of the upcoming meetings, and in the summer you will see in-season crop updates and Enviro-weather reports from around the state.

Could it get easier? Yes! To sign up to receive MSU Extension News reports to your email, click the gray box on the left under the list of agricultural topics (the one that says “Sign up for MSUE News”). Type in your email, state and zip code, and select any of the topics that interest you. A digest of information will come straight to your email inbox once a week or as needed.

Vegetable page
To sign up to receive MSU Extension News reports, click on the gray box that says "Sign up for MSUE News" (see red box).

You will get one email for every topic you select. So, if you choose just “Pest Management," you will get a digest of things related to pests of all crops, including vegetables. If you choose “Vegetable Production,” then you will only get an email with things of interest to vegetable growers, including pests. Selecting them both will result in two emails, with some overlapping information. You can easily unsubscribe to any of these by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the top of the emails.

Better serve yourself, and sign up for these weekly crop and meeting updates from across the state. These reports are important for tracking pest and disease spread, staying abreast of regional planting and harvest schedules that may affect your market strategy, and staying informed of new research information on cutting-edge cropping practices.

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