Field Crop Production: Field Crop Research and Education Delivered Locally


December 22, 2016

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
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.

Field Crops Webinar Series

This annual series of six, onehour webinars is designed to share key field crop production points from MSU Extension traditional winter meetings with underserved audiences in a condensed, distance-learning format. 

Beginning Farmer Webinar Series

This innovative new program featured 20 evening webinars for people wanting to get a start in farming.
Information on the basics of field crop systems, soils, fruit enterprises, emerging livestock systems, organic farming and starting a new business were just a few of the topics covered with new farmers in mind. 


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