Strengthening Michigan's Vegetables Industry

MSU Extension vegetable educators provide research-based crop management strategies and education based on the needs of Michigan’s vegetable growers in order to continue a profitable vegetable industry that is competitive on a global scale while maintaining environmental responsibility.

MSU Extension educators and faculty members work together to bring the latest vegetable research and education to Michigan vegetable growers. Working closely with vegetable growers and commodity organizations helps guide the focus of vegetable research at MSU

Download the printable MSU Extension Vegetable Production: Programs to Strengthen Michigan's Vegetable Industry.

Resources in this priority area focus on the following programs.

Connecting Growers with International Expertise

The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, Greenhouse and Farm Marketing EXPO attracts an international audience who learn about relevant research from local and out-of-state speakers. MSU Extension and the Michigan Vegetable Council organize sessions by identifying topics and speakers with key growers and surveys.

Programs Tailored to Local Communities

Michigan’s climate and soils make it possible to grow vegetables in every county; however, commercial production is in specific areas having a long history of fresh or processing production. MSU Extension hosts eight winter vegetable production and marketing meetings based on grower conversations, and four regional midseason vegetable production meetings to touch base with current production issues and showcase research and demonstration plots.

Collaboration with Industry

MSU Extension collaborates with the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Districts, agricultural suppliers, Michigan Vegetable Council (MVC), Onion Committee, Celery Research Committee, Carrot Committee and Asparagus Advisory Board regarding vegetable-related research and trends. 

Reaching People Where They Are, When They Need Us

Being present in many areas means greater success reaching vegetable growers when they want and need research-based information the most.

  • In-season regional reports and alerts from May to September via MSU Extension News.
  • Offering free or low-cost, multi-media educational resources.
  • Speaking engagements with growers, Master Gardeners, crop consultants, and government and conservation organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and MAEAP.

Offering Timely Information to Manage Risk for Growers

MSU Extension offers many on-demand services to growers to help farms increase profitability and reduce on-farm costs.

  • Applied research and on-farm demonstration needs are defined with campus specialists, grower collaborators and industry representatives.
  • Pest monitoring is performed by request from growers identifying perennial problems, and by regional regulatory agencies for invasive insects, diseases and weeds.
  • Soil moisture monitoring for irrigators is a service provided after one-on-one conversations with soil moisture monitoring network participants. This service charges an annual fee to participants.
  • TomCast disease weather monitoring provides consultants with disease model data from grower fields that is distributed via email.

Explore more Vegetable Programs

  • Cover Crops

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

  • 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.

  • MSU Agriculture Innovation Day

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

  • Onions

    Onions are a growing industry in Michigan, due to a preference for Michigan's cool conditions.Connect with experts and learn from their experience through educational opportunities provided through MSU Extension.

  • Peppers

    MSU Extension provides an opportunity shared by experts with knowledge about peppers through educational programs and research. The pepper industry is a vital and growing vegetable industry that attracts many to it's flavor.

  • Pickling Cucumbers

    MSU Extension supports the vital processed pickle industry through education and outreach that supports Michigan cucumber growers and helps strengthen the industry.

  • Potatoes

    When thinking about side dishes, one of the first sides that are thought of are potatoes. MSU Extension offers exploration of this vegetable through educational opportunities provided by experts to inform and incorporate your interests.

  • Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

    Michigan State University Extension provides Food Safety Modernization Act training using a standardized curriculum created and administered by the Produce Safety Alliance.

  • Sweet Corn

    Sweet corn news, programming and other resources from MSU Extension.

  • Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are a popular ingredient that is used in various dishes. MSU Extension provides the opportunity for you to explore educational materials and and resources that can teach you about improvement in diet, crop production, etc.