Prepare for the 2018 cropping season with breakfast meeting series in St. Joseph County

A breakfast meeting series for field crop producers and agribusiness professionals in southwest Michigan will run March 27 – May 15, 2018, in Centreville.

As spring approaches and farmers look ahead to what needs to be done this cropping season, the Michigan State University Extension field crops team in southwest Michigan is also planning to provide information farmers will need to be successful. The Field Crops Breakfast Meeting Series has been developed to address common management issues as well as those that may be emerging or longer term in nature. The series will run on Tuesdays from March 27 to May 15, 2018, from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the St. Joseph County MSU Extension office, 612 E. Main St., Centreville, MI 49032.

Each meeting will begin with a free—that’s right, FREE!—breakfast sponsored by different local agribusiness partners. I will present a short overview of current conditions during the meal. Attendees can ask questions and share their own observations. This will be followed by the main presentation at around 7:30 a.m., which will be streamed via Zoom (a Skype-type online platform) from speakers who will be joining us from around the state. Presentations will include time for Q&A and will end by 8:30 a.m.

For those who are not able to attend a given meeting in person but would still like to see the presentation, the Zoom sessions will be open to the public and accessible from any computer, tablet or smart phone with a stable internet connection. Remote attendees can join by clicking on this link, Field Crops Breakfast Meeting Series via Zoom, or entering into a web browser—video and microphones will be turned off for participants, but questions and comments can be sent in a chat feature. Each session will also be recorded for viewing later by visiting the Agriculture page of the St. Joseph County MSU Extension website.

For each week you intend to participate in-person, please call the St. Joseph County Extension office at 269-467-5511 or email me at so enough food can be prepared.

The schedule for the 2018 breakfast series is as follows. Any last-minute schedule changes that may be necessary will be communicated when attendees call to sign up.

March 27 How to Keep Your Crop Field From Becoming a Wildlife Food Plot Tim Wilson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Ken Kesson, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; and James DeDecker, MSU Extension educator
April 3 No meeting
April 10 Early Season Crop Pests Bruce MacKellar, MSU Extension educator
April 17 Tax Laws and Their Impacts on Farms Kristiana Coutu, attorney, Varnum Attorneys at Law
April 24 Managing White Mold in Soybeans Martin Chilvers, assistant professor of plant pathology, MSU
May 1 Spring Irrigation and Drainage Issues Ehsan Ghane, assistant professor and Extension specialist, MSU; and Lyndon Kelley, irrigation educator, Purdue and MSU Extension
May 8 Doubling Up: Forages as Cover Crops Kim Cassida, forage and cover crop specialist, MSU
May 15 Reintroduction of Industrial Hemp into U.S. Agriculture Marguerite Bolt, master's student, Purdue Department of Entomology; and possibly Leah Sandler, PhD student in Purdue Department of Botany and Plant Pathology

Breakfasts for the series are sponsored by the following companies: Monsanto Company (overall program); Schaefer & Hollister Wealth Management Group of Raymond James (April 17); Colville Insurance Agency (April 24); Walther Farms (May 1); and Great Lakes Seed Solutions, LLC (May 8).

For more information about the 2018 Field Crops Breakfast Meeting Series or about other MSU Extension programming in southwest and south-central Michigan, contact Eric Anderson at or 269-467-5511.

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