Oceana Asparagus Day scheduled for March 8

Oceana Asparagus Day offers a wide variety of educational topics of interest to asparagus growers.

For nearly 40 years, asparagus growers in Oceana County, which is Michigan’s largest growing area, have used Oceana Asparagus Day as their main platform for educational information about production and marketing of that crop. This year’s program is scheduled for March 8 and will be held at St. Joseph Parish Hall northeast of Hart, Mich. The address for the Parish Hall is 2349 W. Jackson Rd. Hart, Mich. (view map).

As in years past, the program will give a complete review of current research being carried out by Michigan State University researchers. That includes research on asparagus diseases being carried out by Dr. Mary Hausbeck of MSU’s Department of Plant Pathology; irrigation research being carried out by Dr. Dan Brainard of MSU’s Department of Horticulture; research on controlling asparagus miner by Dr. Zsofia Szendrei of MSU’s Department of Entomology; and another study on soil amendments to aid replanting in old asparagus fields by Dr. Mathieu Ngouajio of MSU’s Department of Horticulture.

John Bakker, research manager for the Michigan Asparagus Research Committee Inc., will review other research being carried out by the Michigan asparagus industry. Paul Banks from the University of Guelph will update growers current research in Ontario on asparagus breeding and irrigation. Attendees will also hear about how Interstate Clearance Orders may help alleviate labor shortages during harvest, and marketing issues will be addressed by Ken Nye, executive director of the Michigan Agricultural Commodities Marketing Association’s Asparagus Division.

Registration for the program costs $20 per person if received at the Oceana County MSU Extension office by March 2. Late registration costs $35 per person. To register or for a detailed agenda, contact the Oceana County MSU Extension office at 231-873-2129. Payment must be made either by check or cash. No credit cards can be accepted.

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