Farm Service 790 is hosted by Terry Henne.  He offers the latest information in Agriculture - Events, Topics, Prices and Weather.  If it relates to Agriculture, Terry Henne is talking about it.

Vegetable cover crop twilight meeting August 21

Michigan State University is hosting an upcoming workshop to help vegetable growers utilize cover crops.

Cover cropping in vegetable systems requires a firm understanding of your goals and how to take advantage of crop growth habits while still conserving your time between harvests and weather. Cover crops are often organized by their botanical family and ranked by their different behaviors that benefit the farmer. The behavior categories often advertised and researched are nitrogen sourcing, nitrogen scavenging, soil building, soil loosening, erosion preventing, residue longevity, weed fighting, grazing value and forage value.

For mechanically-harvested vegetable farmers, winter-killed compaction fighters and soil building covers may be desired. A nitrogen credit might be nice too. For smaller, diversified vegetable producers, a cover crop with rapid emergence and growth to put between double crops, or one that is easy to over-seed, may be desired to keep weeds back until spring.

Planting date also affects the level to which any of these plant behaviors help the farmer, and so selecting some goals to guide your decision is important. Below are some potential cover crop rotations for vegetable crops.

  1. Early spring oats or barley before vegetable crop seeding.
  2. Over-seeding clover mid- to late-summer or early fall into sweet corn or late-season vegetables.
  3. Late fall-winter annual grain after all harvest operations are finished. Cereal rye could be used as a windbreak and mulch for seeded vine crops or transplanted cole crops for fall harvest. Wheat harvested right down to the ground for a late short-season cucumber crop.
  4. Late summer oilseed radish for fighting compaction will winter kill and allow for an early spring planting of sweet corn or peas.

For more information on cover cropping in vegetable rotations, Michigan State University Extension experts are hosting a twilight meeting to talk about the most popular vegetable cover cropping choices and techniques. Participants will also visit a butternut squash trial utilizing a fall-planted cereal rye cover crop managed in three different ways as part of a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant.

The workshop will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. on Friday, August 21, at the Forgotten Harvest Ore Creek Farm at 9153 Major Rd, Fenton, MI 48430, and will include a complementary buffet supper. Please RSVP by calling the Saginaw County Extension office at 989-758-2500.


5:00 p.m. – Welcome and dinner in main shed

6:00 p.m. – Introduce stations, 30-45 minutes each, walking distance

  • Main shed: Cover crop selection for vegetable rotations – Paul Gross
  • Major road barn: Rainfall simulator and other tool – Christina Curell
  • Equipment pad: Cover crop equipment showcase – Dan Brainard
  • Winter squash plots – Ben Phillips and Mike Yancho, Jr.

8:30 p.m. – Dismiss

Thumb Octagon Barn Announces 2015 Fall Family Days Dates


The theme for Fall Family Days 2015 is

Fish Fry is Sept 11, 4pm - 7pm.
Saturday Sept 12 & Sunday Sept 13 is Fall Family Days 2015.
8:30am to 5pm.

Anyone wishing to VOLUNTEER for any ACTIVITY
during the show please contact Tori Pine at 989-665-2254.

Sign Up For CAT Alerts This Year

The Crop Advisory Team (CAT) Alerts were timely field-season updates from around the state that kept growers up on the latest production issues. Inclement weather, pest migrations, and disease developments were all reported by MSU Extension field staff and their networks of collaborating scouts, industry reps, and growers. In 2011, CAT alerts were bundled into something called MSUE News. Jim Lincoln had retired from the Bay area position about 15 years ago, and Hannah Stevens was just retiring from the Macomb County office around that time. So, publicity about this change did not reach many of the vegetable growers I now serve, and I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to the site to help you get the most out of it. The MSUE News is a part of MSU Extension’s web presence that often gets republished by other digital and print media organizations, and includes miniature bulletins on crop production techniques, advertisements for upcoming events, and in-season crop updates (like the old CAT Alerts). 

 To sign up to receive MSUE News reports to your email, go to, and click on “Agriculture.” Click the grey box on the left, under the list of agricultural topics: the one that says “Sign up for MSUE News.” Type in your email, state and zip code, then select any of the topics that interest you, and a digest of information will come straight to your email inbox once per week. You will get one email for every topic that you select. So, if you choose just “Pest Management", you will get a digest of things related to pests of all crops, including vegetables. If you choose “Vegetable Production”, then you will only get an email with things of interest to vegetable growers, including pests. Selecting them both will result in two emails, with some overlapping information. You can easily unsubscribe to these by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the top of the emails. I also attached a set of screenshots that takes you through this process, and shows an example of what a winter-time vegetable newsletter looks like.

 If I have your personal contact information, I will still be sending emails about upcoming winter meetings through the Saginaw office secretary, Angelique Rooney. As always, you can send me a direct email at, or call my cell at 616.901.7513. I’ll do my best to assist you with your vegetable needs.

Storm Readiness Is Smart

Get your home ready for the storm season.  It can happen any time, especially when you least expect it.  Click on the link below for MSU's recommendations:


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