Field Crop Research and Education Delivered Locally

In 2015, MSU Extension conducted over 290 field crop programs, reaching approximately 6,600 farmers and agribusiness professionals from 71 counties across the state. This was made possible by county, state and federal appropriations, as well as the support of Michigan commodity organizations and other valuable partners. 

MSU Extension field crop educators deliver unbiased, science-based knowledge to assist producers in four key areas:

  • Improving production efficiency
  • Mitigating risk
  • Increasing economic activity
  • Enhancing sustainability

Download the printable MSU Extension Field Crops Production: Field Crop Research and Education Delivered Locally programming profile.

Resources in this priority area focus on the following programs.

Integrated Crop and Pest Management Series

Pest populations and crop management recommendations are constantly changing, so producers must stay ahead of the curve to remain profitable. This seminar series, held at seven locations throughout the state, is an opportunity for participants to prepare for the next growing season by receiving the latest research results and recommendations for crop production and pest management from MSU specialists and educators. Insect pests, like the western bean cutworm pictured at right, are an example of the serious integrated pest management (IPM) issues facing farmers.

Nutrient Management Update and Plot Tour

This on-campus event features innovative nutrient management research designed to assist farmers and agribusinesses in selecting the right fertilizer source, rate, application timing and placement to ensure sustainable crop nutrition.

On-Farm Research

On-farm research projects conducted throughout the state in cooperation with Michigan commodity organizations and agribusinesses bring locally relevant, research-based information directly to producers. Each year growers participate, working side-by-side with MSU specialists and educators on locally important issues and concerns. Dozens of trials are annually planted and harvested, and the results are published to provide farmers the resources they need to make decisions for the future. Programs include the Soybean Management and Research Technology (SMaRT) and the Thumb Ag Research & Education trials (TARE).

Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference

This annual, day-long conference provides cutting-edge research and information on hay, silage and pasture management delivered by progressive forage growers, researchers and educators from across the Midwest. Michigan’s third largest crop of nearly one million acres is forages such as alfalfa, grass, mixed hay and corn silage.

Pesticide Applicator Training

MSU Extension pesticide applicator training and recertification programs improve pesticide use practices in Michigan by ensuring certified applicators receive up-to-date information on pesticide regulation, handling and application.

Irrigation Management and Water Quality Programs

Irrigation management and water quality education delivered by MSU Extension field crop educators helps growers use precious water resources effectively and efficiently. 

Explore more Field Crop Programs

  • Beginning Farmer Webinar Series

    MSU Extension's educational series covers basic, startup information for beginning farmers interested in engaging in new agricultural enterprises. Participants are mostly current or future growers who represent small farms.

  • Corn

    As one of the top produced agricultural commodities in Michigan, corn is integral to the state's economy. MSU Extension provides educational opportunities and resources for farmers searching for answers to improve yields, manage pests and increase profits.

  • Cover Crops

    Cover crops news, programming and other resources from MSU Extension.

  • Drought Resources

    The MSU Extension drought resources page provides timely information to agricultural producers as weather conditions impact their operation.

  • Dry Beans

    Known worldwide for high quality and consistency, Michigan dry beans are an important commodity. MSU Extension provides expert research and educational opportunities to assist growers in producing a highly valuable, marketable crop.

  • Field Crop Webinar Series

    MSU Extension's educational program addresses field crop production and pest management. Participants include mostly growers, consultants and agribusiness professionals.

  • Forages

    MSU Extension is a supporter of growing forages and provides an educational opportunity for farmers and interested individuals to find information and resource materials regarding the growth of forages.

  • Good Agricultural Practices

    Classes and presentations on Good Agricultural Practices prepare farmers to sell their produce in retail markets and ensure the safety of their produce for sale.

  • Grazing Systems

    MSU Extension educators work with producers to develop pasture-based local beef production systems and host public field days and seasonal programs.

  • Hops

    Find everything you need to know about growing hops in the Great Lakes Region whether you are a farmer, brewer or a backyard enthusiast.

  • Irrigation

    Irrigation plays a big part in agriculture. Learn all the ins and outs of agricultural irrigation, and find resources to meet your needs.

  • Malting Barley

    MSU Extension provides research-based production recommendations and resources to support the growing malting barley industry and to ensure high-quality Michigan barley can be processed locally.

  • MSU Agriculture Innovation Day

    Connecting experts with farmers to share the latest agriculture innovations to improve bottom lines while maintaining sustainable practices.

  • Powering Michigan Agriculture Conference

    The Powering Michigan Agriculture Conference helps farmers learn about various renewable energy technologies, identify the technology to meet their energy management goals, and leave with the resources to implement on their farm.

  • Small Grains

    MSU Extension supports the growing small grains operation fully, and provides an educational opportunity to maintain their knowledge and stay up to date with the information and resources provided.

  • Soybeans

    MSU Extension's soybean research and education assists farmers with the most up to date information about growing conditions, yield monitoring and profitability.

  • Sugarbeets

    MSU Extension supports the growing population of sugarbeets by providing en educational opportunity for exploration and to learn more about the field crop

  • Wheat

    MSU Extension focus on wheat production to provide educational opportunities for educators and researchers to gain access to learn more about the crop and find new techniques to help the future of the crop.