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.

Dry Bean Regional Meetings Scheduled

Wednesday, December 16 - 9:30a-1p
Cheese Haus

Thursday, December 17 - 9:30a-1p
Ubly Heights

Friday, December 18 - 9:30a-1p
Turk Lake Restaurant
Turk Lake

Dry Bean Outlook Conference

December 15 - Double Tree Hotel in Bay City

Registration begins at 8:30a, welcome and introductions at 9:30a

Registration and program details are available by going the the address below:


Pre-registration is suggested for seating and meal planning.  CCA Credits - 2CM; 1PM; .5SW;.5NM;  RUP Credits pending

Funding opportunity for farmers

North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and Rancher grants due Dec. 3, 2015.


The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and Rancher grant program is now accepting applications from qualified farmers and ranchers. The program, which began in 1992, is for producers interested in enhancing the sustainability of their operations. Specifically, it is for conducting on-farm research, demonstration and/or education. Proposals that have been funded in the past generally seek to improve profitability, environmental stewardship, and enhance rural communities. There are several benefits to the program. First. Proposals can be multi-year endeavors. Depending upon the proposal, often one year is not sufficient to document outcomes; the NCR SARE farmer/rancher grant can be up to two years in length. Second, multiple farmers can apply together. Individual farmers can apply for up to $7500, two farmers can apply for up to $15,000 and a group of three or more can apply for up to $22,500. Finally, NCR SARE keeps a database of previously funded proposals that offer a wealth of information for farmers seeking to apply.

Many Michigan proposals have been funded over the last few years. Successful applicants generally are clearly written, attempt to address a specific issue, have a well justified and detailed budget, have an effective and well-conceived dissemination plan, pay farmers for their time and effort, and have solicited the assistance of Michigan State University Extension, the USDA NRCS, or a local Conservation District. Developing a relationship with one of these entities can also result in a letter of support, which is needed as well.

If you have questions please visit the NCR SARE website or contact your local Michigan State University Extension educator.

Plan now for winter storage of pesticides

For farmers, the busiest time of the year is the fall. Adding something else seems to be intolerable, for those farms that have extra pesticides winter storage needs to be added to the long chore list. The best way to ensure that there is no chance of pesticide problems is to return any extra product to a pesticide dealer. If returning pesticide to a dealer is not an option, farms need to have proper pesticide storage. When pesticides are not properly stored there is a chance that products could freeze, containers could be compromised, posing a threat to people, livestock, and the environment.

The easiest way to reduce the risk of pesticide exposure to humans, livestock, and the environment is to have proper pesticide storage. The ideal storage is one that is separate from any other activities. The building should be locked, have a spill kit and a chemical fire extinguisher. The floor should be sealed, with concrete curbs to contain any spills. The building should be clearly marked as pesticide storage. If a farm is unable to dedicate a building for pesticide storage at the very least there should be a cabinet dedicated to storing pesticides. As with the building, the cabinet needs to be locked and clearly labeled as pesticide storage.

Once the storage location is set farmers need to be concerned with how they store pesticides. Shelving units should be metal or plastic with a lip. Wood should not be used since it will absorb spills. It is also important to put any dry formulations on the top shelves above any liquids to prevent cross contamination if liquid containers leak. Pesticides should be separated by type i.e. herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc. The oldest product should be in front so that it will be used first next spring. It is also very important that all pesticides are clearly labeled. If the label is missing or unreadable contact your chemical dealer or visit the Crop Data Management System to obtain a new label. Remember to affix the label on the container.

There are instances when a farm has outdated, unusable, or even banned pesticides. In these cases pesticides can be taken to a Clean Sweep site. Clean Sweep accepts unwanted pesticides and disposes of them properly. This is a free service funded through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to all residents in Michigan.

To find out more information on proper pesticide storage get a copy of “On-farm Agrichemical Storage and Handling”, Michigan State University Extension bulletin E-2355 from the MSU Extension Bookstore. For more information on storage of pesticides and a guide for proper storage temperature of common pesticides obtain a copy of University of Wyoming Extension bulletin MP-93.5, “Cold Weather Storage and Handling of Liquid Pesticides.”

2015 Integrated Crop and Pest Management Update

Date: December 15, 2015
Time: 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: MSU Pavilion 4301 Farm Lane East Lansing, MI 48910
Contact: George Silva with Eaton County MSU Extension at 517-543-4467 or email


Dec. 15, 2015
9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

MSU Pavilion
4301 Farm Lane
East Lansing, MI 48910

 This event will address:

  • Research based MSU recommendations for weed, insect, disease and fertilizer for 2016
  • Review of the 2015 late planting season
  • Weeds, insects and disease resistance management
  • Soil fertility and nutrient management
  • Soil Health
  • 2016 Weed Control Guide E-434

Cost: $60 (includes refreshments, lunch and handouts including the 2015 MSU Weed Control Guide and other bulletins)

Registration is now open through midnight, Monday, December 14, 2015. Please note: this event is limited to 350 participants.

Sugarbeet Seed Week Schedule Announced



December 1, 2015
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

 December 2, 2015
Ubly Heights Golf Course
2409 East Atwater Rd.
Ubly, MI 48475

 December 3, 2015
Bavarian Inn Lodge
1 Covered Bridge Ln.
Frankenmuth, MI 48734

 December 4, 2015
Bay Shore Camp
450 N. Miller St.
Sebewaing, MI 48759

 December 7, 2015
Country View Golf Course
25393 Hwy. 40
Dover Center, Ontario, Canada NOP1LO

Choosing the right sugarbeet seed is the foundation of profitable sugar beet production. Matching varieties to field conditions, disease problems and management will be stressed in these meetings. This is your opportunity to find out what new varieties are being brought forward and how to man-age these genetics for the greatest success. The programs will include presentations from each seed company, Michigan Sugar Company Researchers and Sugarbeet Advancement.
There is no charge to attend these programs, but to help with meal counts, please con-tact Karlie at the Saginaw County MSU Extension Office at

Seneca Valley Virus in swine

Suspect cases in Michigan should report to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Pork producers might be aware of a disease circulating in pigs call the Seneca Valley Virus (SVV). As the daily observations and health status checks of your herd are completed, producers should be looking for signs of SVV. The clinical signs associated with SVV in pigs include vesicles (blisters) or erosions (results of ruptured vesicles) on a pig’s snout, mouth, and/or feet where the hoof meets the skin. There have been reports of unexplained lameness, off-feed events and diarrhea in piglets prior to the emergence of vesicles or erosions in groups of pigs. It is important to remember that SVV is a production disease, which means there is no risk in consuming pork products. According to the Swine Health Information Center, there is no record of SVV causing symptomatic human disease. Interestingly, the virus has potent oncolytic abilities which are currently being explored in human cancer treatment research.

The clinical signs related to SVV cannot be distinguished from vesicular foreign animal diseases (FAD) including foot-and-mouth disease, vesicular stomatitis, and swine vesicular disease, which are reportable trade-limiting FADs in pigs. Any time these clinical signs are observed in pigs it is imperative that the state animal health official is notified immediately either directly or through the herd veterinarian so they can initiate an investigation to confirm that the clinical signs are not caused by a FAD. In Michigan the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (MSU DCPAH) has provided diagnostic results for Foot and Mouth Disease within a 24 hour turnover.

Michigan State University Extension reminds you, do not move animals that are ill or exhibiting clinical signs of illness. If you see these lesions on the feet, coronary band, or the snout of pigs, please contact Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) at 800-292-3939 (After-hours at 517-373-0440). Affected animals should be segregated and isolated on site, samples will be collected and submitted under the direction of the state veterinarian. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will work with producers to approve movement to slaughter and FSIS coordination. Producers should also be diligent in movement recordkeeping, as this information will be helpful in the case of an FAD investigation.

Veterinarians should be observing their herds for signs for lesions or vesicles. Communication between the producer and herd veterinarian is important and this relationship will aid in the investigating process. If a veterinarian experiences a suspect case of SVV they should contact MDARD, stay at the site and stop all movement of people and pigs from that location. Open lines of communication will ease the process for all involved with this process.

Barn-level education for employees and those involved in the pork industry to help aid in the recognition and reporting of suspected FADs is available through the National Pork Board. FAD Push Packs can be ordered via the pork store or by contacting a member of the MSU Extension Pork team. More information on this emerging disease can be found at the Swine Health Information Center.

Pork producers remember: Got vesicles? Report ‘em! MDARD 800-292-3939 (After hours at 517-373-0440).

Milk and Grain Marketing Series


Commodity price outlook for 2016 continues to turn gloomy for corn, soybeans and wheat as harvest wraps up across Michigan. Dairy stocks are continuing to build heading into the end of this year. Fed cattle prices have declined sharply since early September. Land rental rates remain high along with the costs for most farm inputs.

Historically, farm input costs adjust to the changes in commodity prices, but this tends to occur over a longer period of time. Farms need to make adjustments in their cost of production budgets as well as the marketing plans to survive until commodity prices and input cost become more in line, allowing the farm to generate positive returns.

To assist farmers making marketing decisions, a Milk and Grain Marketing Series will be held this year on Dec. 8, 2015 and meet quarterly on March 8, 2016, June 14, 2016 and Sept. 13, 2016. Fred Hinkley, Michigan State University Extension educator emeritus and marketing specialist, will provide insight and outlook on the milk and grain markets and suggest strategies to minimize financial risk.

Agriculture markets are more volatile than ever. For most farms, profits are largely determined by how well you market your production. Now more than ever your farm’s future success depends on your ability to understand the markets and use the basic marketing tools.

The meetings will be held at the Isabella County Building, Room 320, 200 N. Main Street, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The cost for attending these meetings will be $400 per farm. This will cover all four meetings and will not limit the number from each farm/agribusiness that may attend.

Pre-registration is encouraged by Dec. 1. You can register for the program online at the Milk and Grain Marketing Series page.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 989-317-4079, 989-560-1371 or

Northern Michigan Pesticide Applicator Certification Center


Date: December 10, 2015
Time: Core manual training 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. MDARD Exams at 1 p.m.
Location: Presque Isle District Library, 181 E. Erie St., Rogers City, MI 49779
Contact: James DeDecker, 989-734-2168,

Northern Michigan Pesticide Applicators Certification Center: This will be a half-day core manual training seminar for farm, forestry, right-of way, turf and ornamental applicators. The training will take place in the morning from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. The MDARD exams will be at 1 p.m. Lunch is on your own.

Hiring labor for your farming operation? Use the Agricultural Employer Checklist

Agricultural employers of labor in Michigan have a newly updated tool in the form of the Agricultural Employer Checklist, which was revised Oct. 1, 2015 and updated by Stan Moore, Adam Kantrovich, Corey Risch and John Jones of Michigan State University Extension. The checklist was developed in 2011 and revised to incorporate changes that are needed to reflect the hiring process for agricultural workers in Michigan. The document is available on the MSU Extension Farm Information Resource Management (FIRM) Labor and Human Resource Management website, or can be downloaded at: Agricultural Employer Checklist.

The checklist is put together in five sections that outlines the steps used when hiring labor. “Section 1: Employers Prepare to Hire Agricultural Employees” provides what steps should be taken by the employer in this phase of hiring. Section 2 outlines the processes the employer must do “After Hiring Agricultural Employees, Employers Must.” In Section 3, the checklist outlines what the “Employer Must Provide to the Employee,” and Section 4 gives the documents that an agricultural “Employer Must Complete Annually.”

Section 5 gives employers a list of all the “Other Potential Labor Regulations” that agricultural employers need to be aware of, including unemployment insurance, pesticide and worker protection rules, OSHA and MIOSHA regulations, the Affordable Care Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. Finally, a list of references is placed in Section 6 along with links to useful publications that all employers should have on file.

According to Kantrovich, MSU Extension FIRM states that this is not a complete list, but one that contains many of the more common items to be aware of, and “always consult your legal and tax consultants about your specific situation.”

For additional information on labor and human resource management, see the MSU Extension Labor and Human Resource Management website or contact your local MSU Extension educator.

Don't Forget To Take Nitrogen Credits From Previous Years


A common mistake when farmers are determining their nutrient need for their upcoming crops is to forget to include nitrogen credits from previous years. There are simple management practices that farms can implement to optimize nitrogen applications as well as protect groundwater from nitrogen leaching. One of the easiest and yet not often done is adjust nitrogen rates accurately. Not only should a grower consider soil tests but also any other residual nitrogen sources should be accounted for when determining nitrogen applications.

Legumes are a great source for nitrogen. Alfalfa, clover, and soybeans are the common legumes grown. More growers are using legume cover crops to assist in nitrogen production. Hairy vetch is a common cover crop that has the potential to produce a great amount of nitrogen.

Adjusting nitrogen application in correlation to adding manure is another management practice that could have great benefit to the farm both economically and environmentally. To determine the nitrogen value of manure the best method is to have a sample analyzed. There are book values that can give the approximate nutrient value for manure but every farm is different so the best strategy is to get a sample from your farm.

Cover crop usage is growing exponentially. Many farms are looking at cover crops as another fertilizer source. The challenge for using cover crops as a nutrient source is in the amount of credit to take as well timing of the nitrogen release. Nitrogen availability may not correlate with when the crop needs it. If a farm wants to use cover crops as a nutrient source, cover crops should be considered during the planning process. There are number of challenges using cover crops for even the most experienced cover crop users. Reliable establishment and species selection are often listed and the primary challenges most farmers face incorporating cover crops into their cropping systems. To help farmers address these challenges, an Interseeding Cover Crops Field Day is planned for Oct. 21, 2015, in St Joseph County at the Larry Walton Farm in Nottawa, Michigan. The program begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 2 p.m. with lunch provided. There is no cost for attending this field day.

There are some book values that can be found on how much nitrogen credit can be calculated but the best practice is still to use soil samples followed by Pre-Sidedress Nitrogen Tests (PSNT) when applicable. Later in the growing season a petiole sample or a stalk nitrate sample should be taken to further determine if the farm has an efficient and effective nitrogen plan.

Farmers that farm near surface water or those within a high-risk watershed, such as the Western Lake Erie Basin or Saginaw Bay, need to be especially careful to not over apply nutrients. Michigan State University Extension educators and specialist have put together a website with information specifically for those in the Western Lake Erie Basin to assist them with water quality issues. The information on this page can be useful to all growers.

Capture Weed Seeds Of Weeds That Avoided Herbicides


The 2015 growing season was full of challenges. Finding timely opportunities to spray herbicides on corn and soybeans was one of them. Despite this, most fields remain remarkably clean as we head into harvest across southwest Michigan. However, a few fields are notably not weed-free this fall. Even more troubling is the fact that often a single weed species remains in many of these fields. Michigan State University Extension, with funding provided by the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, is promoting a research effort conducted by Erin Hill of the MSU Weed Control Program to help producers determine if the weeds that remain in fields are becoming resistant to the five most commonly used herbicide modes of action.

The top priority weeds we think growers might find this fall are pigweed species that refused to die despite herbicide applications that should control them. The most troublesome weed in this family is Palmer amaranth. Palmer amaranth tends to have long “flowing” type seedheads at the top of the plant that often “dance” in the wind. Keep in mind that Palmer amaranth has both male and female plants, so there may be quite a bit of variability in the look of the seedheads you find in fields. If you find a few of these plants, be sure to take a garbage bag out in the fields and clip off the seedheads before the seed sheds. This is important to do because each plant may produce as many as 450,000 seeds. If you find pockets of Palmer amaranth, be prepared to step up your vigilance in controlling the weed species over the next few years.

Palmer amaranth is not the only pigweed species we are finding in southwest Michigan that has a history of multiple herbicide resistance. Common waterhemp, which is resistant to both the ALS inhibitors and glyphosate, was confirmed by MSU field crops weed control specialist Christy Sprague in samples submitted to the lab in Berrien and St. Joseph County in 2014. There is also an ALS inhibitor-resistant redroot pigweed that was found in Shiawassee County in 2014. Berrien County soybean fields have seen an increase in common waterhemp in 2015. If you find either common waterhemp or Palmer amaranth in small patches, be sure to try to remove all of the plants before the seed is dispersed.

If you find either Palmer amaranth or common waterhemp, recommendations for dealing with either of these commonly herbicide-resistant pigweed species will use the same weed control programs. In short, this will include a switch to a Liberty Link soybean variety and vigilant combinations of pre- and post-emergent herbicide treatments before Palmer amaranth reaches 3 inches in height. For complete recommendations from Sprague, see “Multiple herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth in Michigan: Keys to management in soybean, corn and alfalfa.”

Some other commonly resistant weed species growers should be on the lookout for this fall include ALS- and glyphosate-resistant marestail, ALS- or glyphosate-resistant common ragweed and glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed. Resistant marestail has been with us for a few years now, especially in southeast Michigan. Sprague has not confirmed glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed in Michigan, but there is plenty of it just across our border in northern Indiana. There are also several corn and soybean fields in southwest Michigan with giant ragweed infestations this fall. Hill’s ”2015 Status of herbicide resistant weeds in Michigan” article provides a complete list of resistant weeds confirmed in Michigan and more on their identification and life cycles. 

If you think you have any of these (or other) weed species that survived full strength herbicide applications without injury, consider collecting seedheads from a minimum of five plants and submitting them to MSU for herbicide screening. This process can help you to better understand which herbicide programs can still be effective in controlling these weed species. The cost of the screening is being paid for by the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee in 2015. Be sure to place the seed samples in folded-over paper grocery bags to allow for proper drying. The screening process takes a considerable amount of time to conduct in the lab and greenhouse, so be sure to submit your samples early. You can drop off samples to your local MSU Extension office in southwest Michigan and we will make sure they get to campus. You can download the accompanying form at: FREE Screening for Herbicide-Resistant Weeds in Soybean Production Systems

2015 Integrated Crop and Pest Management Update

Michigan State University Extension and Eaton County MSU Extension will host the 2015 Integrated Crop and Pest Management Update on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education (4301 Farm Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824). Participants will receive MSU Extension’s 2016 recommendations for potential pest (weed, insect and disease) problems and fertilizer practices.

This program is intended for agribusiness, retail sales and service professionals, private crop consultants, field crop educators and farmers. This event will provide agribusiness industries with MSU pesticide recommendations in a timely fashion so they can make their bulk purchasing and sales decisions before the year’s end.

The Michigan field crops industry encountered another challenging year associated with excess rain, rising input costs, changing commodity prices, rapidly evolving technologies and potential new pests. The agenda will include a review of the 2015 growing season, insect and weed resistance management, soil health and fertility, and the “2016 Weed Control Guide for Field Crops” Bulletin E0434.

Participants will receive six MDARD credits (Com. Core, Priv. Core, 1A), CCA credits (pending) and MAEAP phase 1 credit (pending) for this session.

Online registration is now available. You can also download a brochure for mail-in check registration. Please contact George Silva at 517-543-4467 or if you have questions.

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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