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.

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.

Farm Bill Meeting in Sanilac County

Farmers are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the 2014 version of the Farm Bill.  It provides some rare opportunities such as updating program yields for their farms and adjusting base acres. As in past farm bills, the program allows farmers to select between different participation options.  The best option for any one farm depends, in part, on the crop history and the goals of each individual farm.  

MSU Extension, in conjunction with the Farm Service Agency, is offering an educational program on the new Farm Bill Program on Tuesday, February 3 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Sanilac Career Center located at 175 E. Aitken Rd., Peck, Michigan.  The meeting will describe the new provisions and risk management implications of the program.  It will also demonstrate an analytical tool for assisting farmers in selecting the best option for individual farms. 

Those who would like to attend are asked to register by calling the MSU Extension office at 810-648-2515 or emailing

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:

Beginning Farmer Webinar Series Will Be Available

Attention beginning farmers!  The MSU Extension 2015 Beginning Farmer Webinar Series is available for you to gain knowledge needed to plan your start-up farming operation, or add a new enterprise to an existing farm.  A series of twenty, 2-hour evening webinars covering a wide variety of farm- related topics is available, including: 

“Getting started with….”

…Small Grain Production, Jan. 26 

...Cover Crops in Organic Vegetable Crop Rotations, Feb. 2

…Integrated Pest Management, Feb. 4

…Manure Storage, Handling and Mortality Management on Small Farms, Feb. 11

…Beekeeping for Pollination and Honey, Feb 13

…Value-Added Agriculture, Feb. 18

…Farm Food Safety, Feb 23

…Sheep and Goat Management, March 2

…USDA Organic Certification, March 9

…Hop Production, March 11

…Season Extension, March 16

…Marketing, March 18

…Small Fruit Production, March 23

…Beef Cow-Calf Production, March 25

…Direct Marketing, March 30

…Managing Soil, Irrigation and Fertilization Interactions, April 1

…Cover Crops in Field Crop Rotations, April 6

…Poultry Production, April 20

…Small Farm Equipment, April 27

…Beef Feedlot Management, April 29

 A fee of $10 per webinar is required, or you can register for the entire series for $100.  Webinar recordings will be provided to all registered participants.  Participate from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office.  Registration, a brochure containing details on each individual program, and on-line or mailed payment options can be found at

 Each program begins at 7pm Eastern time and will last about 2 hours.  A  high-speed internet connection is required.  You will receive webinar connection information after you register.Contact the Alger County MSU Extension office at 906-387-2530 or for more information.

Area Vegetable Growers Meeting

Ben Phillips (MSU Extension Bay Area Vegetable Extension Educator) and Erik Palm (Saginaw Soil and Water Conservation District, MAEAP technician) would like to invite you to attend a meeting at the Portsmouth Township Hall on February 16, 2015 to learn about current vegetable production research and fresh marketing opportunities at the local and state level. 

The meeting is free, and will allow attendees to meet three of MSU's four vegetable production research specialists. In addition, MSU Extension’s Saginaw and Genesee County community food systems educator, Julia Darnton, will give an overview of the many local and state opportunities and incentives for selling fresh market vegetables.

This meeting also qualifies for RUP credits, and as a MAEAP Phase 1 Educational Session for the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program.


Date: Monday, February 16th, 2015

Time: 8:30 ­- noon

Location: Portsmouth Twp Fire Hall, 1171 Cass Avenue Rd, Bay City

Contact: Saginaw County Extension Office, 989.758.2500


8:30 am ­ Weed Control in Onions and Sweet Corn

           Dr. Bernard Zandstra (MSU Vegetable Weed Specialist)

9:15 am ­ Disease Control in Onions and Vine Crops

           Dr. Mary Hausbeck (MSU Vegetable Plant Pathologist)

10:00 am ­ Refreshments Break

10:15 am ­ Insect Control in Onions, Cabbage, and Sweet Corn

           Dr. Zsofia Szendrei (MSU Vegetable Entomologist)

11:00 am ­ MAEAP Verification

           Tom Young (MDARD) and Erik Palm (Saginaw SWCD)

11:30 am ­ Local and Regional Marketing Opportunities

           Julia Darnton (MSUE, Saginaw)

NRCS Cut Off Date For Applications

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Michigan announced that Feb. 20 is the second cut-off date for applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in fiscal year 2015. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance to farmers and non-industrial private forestland owners for protecting and conserving natural resources.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and non-industrial private forestland owners for adopting a wide variety of conservation activities. Separate funding pools are available for organic producers and for farmers who need to implement one or two conservation practices to complete the verification process of the Michgian Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program.

Conservation activities receiving financial assistance must be part of an agricultural or forest operation’s conservation plan. Producers should work with their local NRCS or conservation district staff to develop a conservation plan before applying for the program. Successful applicants enter into a contract with NRCS to implement conservation activities and are reimbursed for a portion of the cost.

Field Crop Information Available Online

There is a convenient, new way to access the latest in field crops information from Michigan State University Extension!  MSUE will offer a series of six online programs highlighting field crop production and pest management on Monday evenings from February 23rd through March 30th, 2015.  Participants will learn how to enhance their corn, soybean, small grain and dry bean production systems in the coming season, and have an opportunity to ask questions of MSU agriculture experts  (see attached flier).

Presentations will begin at 7:00 PM EST each Monday evening and run until 8:00 PM EST. 

One MDARD Pesticide Recertification Credit will be available through each webinar for application to one of the following categories:  Private Core, Commercial Core, or Field Crops. 

Participants can view the programs independently online free of charge.  However, pre-registration is required for all participants.

Visit  to register and access connection information. 

Contact James DeDecker at (989) 734-2168 or for more information, or by February 16th, 2015 to request accommodations for persons with disabilities.  Requests received after this date will be fulfilled when possible.

ANR Week at MSU Celebrates 100 Years

Plans are being made to mark the 100th Agriculture and Natural Resources Week next year.

Michigan State University and the school's College of Agriculture and Natural

Resources are hosting the event March 7-14 in East Lansing.

The week offers educational programs in areas such as animal science,

agriculture and the natural environment. Additional educational programming

topics are planned. Full details of the 2015 ANR Week program guide will be

posted online early next year.

The annual ANR Week Luncheon takes place March 10 at the Kellogg Hotel and

Conference Center.

Some events as part of Agriculture and Natural Resources Week also are seeing

milestones. The Quiet Water Symposium, which celebrates non-motorized recreation

and a shared concern for the Great Lakes environment, is marking two decades.

Farm Bill: The Ins and Outs - How Does It Effect Your Farm

The Agricultural Act of 2014 – commonly called 2014 Farm Bill – that was signed in early 2014 is quite different from what farmers and landowners were accustomed to in former farm bills. Although there may be similarities to past farm bills, it is very important that farmers begin to learn as much as they can before deciding on what program is best suited for their current situation.

Each farm location and each farmer’s individual needs are very different, therefore choosing which programs are a good fit will depend on farm specific variables and individual needs. With this in mind, Michigan State University Extension has developed numerous resources to assist farmers and landowners to begin this process.

The Michigan State University Extension Farm Information Resource Management (FIRM) team in collaboration with the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) with numerous sponsors that include the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, The Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, the Michigan Wheat Program, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, and Farm Bureau Crop Insurance has engaged in a statewide effort to provide Farm Bill Title I Educational Programming.

The program is a multifaceted event discussing the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill Title I programs. Presentations will describe Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) choices and discuss yield and base updating. The profit and risk management implications of alternative choices will be explored under a range of assumptions including historical yields relative to county yields and alternative price scenarios. The decision support tools used in the analysis are available as Excel files from MSU Extension and web-based tools that can be accessed from the FarmDoc and FSA/USDA websites

At the conclusion of the program, time is offered for participants to engage with Michigan State University Extension FIRM team members and FSA representatives in a question and answer session to help better understand the information.

To view where programs are taking place and to register for an event, interested participants may go to the following link

It is encouraged to occasionally revisit the link to see if any additional locations and dates have been added. The Michigan State University Extension FIRM team has also developed a Farm Bill Program page that contains links to additional material, information and resources. Check back often to view any new or revised information and material as further details become known. Individuals may also sign-up to receive newsletters that will contain information about articles, updates, and additional information about the Farm Bill and other farm related policies.

For further information, please contact me at or view the MSU Extension Farm Information Resource Management webpage.

The 2014 Farm Bill will affect Michigan farmers in many ways.  Many of the components of the previous Farm Bill have been changed or eliminated.  Navigating those changes poses many challenges.  To assist farmers with those challenges, programs will be conducted around the state in multiple locations from December through March.  These programs are being provided by the Michigan State University Farm Management Team with assistance from local Agricultural Extension Educators and in cooperation with the USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA).

The objectives of the meetings will be to inform producers about:

  • The changes in commodity programs included in the 2014 farm bill
  • The farm and risk management implications of the changes in commodity programs included in the 2014 farm bill

All meetings will be conducted with the following agenda:

  • "New Provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014" (1 hour, FSA representative)
  • "Farm and Risk Management Implications of the Agricultural Act of 2014" (1 hour, MSUE representative)
  • Questions, Answers and Discussion (as needed)

There are Several Area

                                       programs to choose from:


December 15th, 2014 from 1 - 4 p.m

Huron County Expo Center

170 W. Soper Rd., Bad Axe, MI  48413


January  5th 2015 from 6 - 9:30 pm

Richmond Township Hall

34900 School Section Rd., Richmond, MI  48062


January  6th 2015 from 6:30 - 9:30 pm

Tuscola Technology Center

1401 Cleaver Rd., Caro, MI  48723


January  9th 2015 from 9 am – 12:30 pm

Sanilac Area Career Center

175 E. Aitken Rd., Peck, MI  48466



Pre-Registration is Required.  The program is free.


Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference

Dairy producers attending the 13th annual Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference (GLRDC) Feb. 5-7, 2015, at the Bavarian Inn and Conference Center in Frankenmuth, Michigan, should come prepared to find out the latest information available on managing the challenges of dairy farming.

Consumers expect high-quality, safe and nutritious dairy products produced in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible way. This year’s conference will focus on techniques, tools and strategies to deliver the type of dairy products consumers expect.

The conference kicks off Thursday with a look at the future of the dairy industry, from the local farm to the global market. Attendees will learn strategies to excel as the industry advances and producers plan to meet future needs on their farms. Presentations will include:

·        Which cow produces the most money for every dollar of input, and how feed and water supply will continue to affect management decisions on the farm

·        Where the global industry is headed and how it will affect the farm’s bottom line

·        How to focus on margins, not ratios by focusing on money-corrected milk, and how to determine the combination of fluid milk, butterfat, protein, feed rations and genetics to make the most economic sense for the farm

·        How to excel in an ever-changing industry by staying ahead of the curve and establishing the factors most critical in evaluating decisions on the farm


The Exhibitor Showcase, Excellence in Dairy Award and the Dairy Challenge Presentation round out the day. Be sure to also check out the Great Lakes Commercial Heifer Extravaganza X Sale.

Friday morning’s lineup features a range of topics looking at improving efficiencies on the farm. Presentations range from an intricate look at how management, genetics and nutrition impact the reproductive efficiency of the cow to how silage Shredlage and improved kernel processing can lead to nutritional efficiencies. After learning strategies for making cows more sustainable through reproduction and nutrition, attendees will learn how to improve the farm’s overall sustainability through simple changes, which could have a profound impact on reducing the industry’s environmental footprint and producing a more desirable and profitable product.

Friday afternoon, attendees will have the choice of three educational workshops to attend:

·        On-farm Crisis Preparedness

·        Easy, Affordable On-farm Energy Conservation to Boost Your Bottom Line

·        Dairy Reproduction and Nutrition Question and Answer Session

In addition to educational sessions, producers will have the opportunity to attend breed meetings. The Michigan Holstein Association will conduct its annual meeting on Friday, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Michigan Brown Swiss and Jersey associations will follow, conducting their annual meetings on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.

Individual (adult), student and farm registration options are available. Registrations received before Jan. 16, 2015, will save up to $25 per day. Online registration closes Feb. 1, 2015, at midnight. On-site registrations are subject to availability.


Visit for the complete conference schedule or to register online. Participants can also register by phone by calling 517-884-7089.


The new figures are in.  For all the results contact Greg.


Contact Information: Michigan Dry Bean Production Research Advisory Board

Greg Varner, Research Director

8439 North Blair Road

Breckenridge, Michigan 48615 Ph: 989-751-8415



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