What's new in Michigan Organic Ag?
May 26 – June 6, 2008 

Production News and Information (Found in Part 1 of 2)
1. New Ag Network electronic newsletter
2. Vegetable CAT Alert Newsletter, MSU
3. Field Crop CAT Alert, MSU
4. Fruit CAT Alert, MSU
5. Mid-South Wheat a Survivor Crop, Farm Press 

Notice of Position Openings (Found in Part 1 of 2)
6. Washington State Department of Agriculture seeking a Farm to School
Program Manager
7. Food System Economic Partnership of Southeast Michigan seeking a
Farm to School Program Director 

Events (Found in Part 2 of 2)
8. Vegetable Cover Crop Meeting
9. "Buy Local Day" Farmers' Market at the State Capitol Lawn
10. Walking tour of the MSU Student Organic Farm
11. Day-long Workshop at the MSU Student Organic Farm
12. High-Tunnel Tour of England
13. From Your Table to Market- Northwestern Michigan College Extended
Education Event
14. Battle Creek U-Pick Strawberries!
15. Fennville Organic U-Pick Strawberries!
16. Cushman Creek Produce Meeting
17. MSU Student Organic Farm – On-campus Summer Farmstand
18. Genesee County 2008 MG Garden Tour

Production News and Information

1. New Ag Network electronic newsletter
Vol. 4, No. 3 – May 28, 2008. 

In this issue:
Powdery mildew of muskmelon
Buckwheat cover cropping for vegetables
Alfalfa harvest, getting it right will return big dollars
Summer annual forage grasses for emergency crops
Introduction to High Tunnels streaming video available on-line
Gift to support organic high tunnel research and outreach in
Southwestern Minnesota
University of Minnesota field day to highlight organic innovations
Wisconsin organic fruit field day
A farmer's experience with cover crops
Reports from organic growers

2. Vegetable CAT Alert Newsletter, MSU
Vol. 23, No. 6, May 28, 2008 

In this issue:
Herbicide sensitivity in potatoes
Onion weed control during cold growing conditions
Dual Magnum registered for pumpkins
Agricultural labor statistics for spring 2008
Pesticide residue testing
Regional reports

3. Field Crop CAT Alert, MSU
Vol. 23, No. 8, May 29, 2008 

In this issue:
Fungicide tank-mixtures with sugar beet herbicides: What are the risks?
Maximize glyphosate activity with a few simple tips
Herbicide sensitivity in potatoes
Cold weather stress on corn and soybeans
Michigan's soil nitrate test for corn
Considerations for raising irrigated wheat
Agricultural labor statistics for spring 2008
Regional reports

4. Fruit CAT Alert, MSU
Vol. 23, No. 8, May 27, 2008 

In this issue:
Tree fruit news
Early season codling moth management decision-making
TNRC trapline data: Codling moth
Small fruit news
Tussock moth monitoring and control in blueberries
Altacor insecticide registered for use in grapes
Is it a virus disease or something else? A few pointers
Monitor for orange rust in brambles
Northwest grape IPM "First Friday" meetings
      Other news
              High tunnel tour of England, October 5-9
              Agricultural labor statistics for spring 2008
              Pesticide residue testing
              New core manuals available
              Regional reports
              Weather news

5. Mid-South Wheat a Survivor Crop
By Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff
One thing can be said about this year's Mid-South wheat crop — it's a
survivor. Despite the wet, cold, even freezing temperatures Mother
Nature threw at it this spring — yield prospects are good to
excellent, say growers. On the downside, growers are going to need a
lot of bushels to offset rising input costs and a widening basis.
Butch Brogdon, who has 300 acres of wheat near McCrory, Ark., said,
"Some of my low spots drowned out, but surprisingly, the crop doesn't
look that bad. Looks can be deceiving, but it's a normal crop at
worse. The heads look like they're filling out."
Brogdon says his crop suffered through some disease pressure early,
which he controlled with the fungicide Quilt. Brogdon hopes to start
harvesting the crop around June 6 and will follow the crop with
A widening basis is a big concern for Brogdon, but he's not sure why
it's happening. "We think (the elevator) has bought a lot, and they
don't need any at this moment. But there has to be some reason."
Rising input costs are taking a larger and larger bite from every
bushel. "Everybody wants their piece of the pie. But what will happen
if we have a collapse in the soybean market or any of the markets? We
have so much money in fertilizer. It kind of makes me wonder if I
should have gotten out of this before it got this far."
With 85-degree days finally arriving in late May, Justin Cariker's
wheat crop is starting to turn quickly. He received an exceptional
amount of rainfall this spring, but he planted the crop on
well-drained ground.
Cariker, who farms 1,000 acres of wheat near Maud, Miss., said this
year's crop "is going to be a little off from the year before. Last
year, we average 68-69 bushels, but I think we'll bump close to 60
bushels this year."
On the downside, "the basis has gotten so bad. I'm hearing, it's at
$1.50 and may go to $2. We sold a lot of wheat in the fall and in
January. We didn't get any of the $9 wheat. We were sold out by then.
We're probably going back to $5 wheat when it's all said and done."
Expenses have also shot up. "A big kicker is our trucking costs.
Truckers are having to pay $4.50 for diesel. There's no telling what
they're going to want to haul out of the field. The lines are going to
be long too because everybody and their brother planted wheat this
year. It could come down to what happened last year in corn, only
being able to make two or three trips a day."
Cariker sprayed all his wheat with a fungicide early on, "and we had
to spray about 400 acres for armyworms. But that's all we had to
spray, so I felt fortunate."
Patrick Johnson, whose family farms near Tunica, Miss., planted about
1,200 acres of wheat this year. He says the crop planted on higher,
well-drained ground "looks real good. But our slow-draining, heavier
ground has been hurt a little bit by all the rain."
The wet, cool weather is causing some anxiety about plans to
double-crop soybeans behind the wheat, according to Johnson.
Brownsville, Tenn., producer Richard Jameson's wheat crop "is probably
about a 7 on a scale of 10. On some of the varieties, you could see
where there was a little freeze damage. There probably is a little bit
of disease out there. And with all the rain, we wonder how much of our
nitrogen was lost.
"What I'm astounded by is how much wheat we see in this county. You
can't believe how little cotton is going to be planted. That is a huge
change around here. The big thing for farmers is the cost of farming.
I am literally burning through money like I never have before."
After the Easter freeze of 2007 nearly destroyed most of Bob Walker's
wheat crop, you can't blame him for being a little gun shy about
planting wheat last fall. Still, the Somereville, Tenn., producer
figured the late-freeze was a one-time aberration. Imagine his
surprise in April when temperatures again headed toward to freezing
"We were a little late planting our wheat this year, for that very
reason (the freeze), Walker said. "Then all of sudden we were looking
at temperatures in the low 30s, and thought surely it couldn't happen
again. Luckily, it didn't harm the crop this time."
Because of wet weather, the crop has been susceptible to disease,
noted Walker, who sprayed the crop with either Quilt or Quadris. "I
went with a split shot of Quilt on the biggest part of the crop. The
prospects looked good for a nice crop, and we had the opportunity for
a good price on it, so we felt like it was vital for us to get some
protection out there."
Today "the crop is turning fast. It's gone from a lush green to
starting to yellow up. All indications are that right now, it's a good
Walker says the cost of moving commodities is certain to impact his
operation as well as food prices for consumers. "I'm hauling equipment
(Walker's businesses include a trucking company) today for $4 a mile.
That's almost a penny a foot."
e-mail: [log in to unmask]

Notice of Position Openings

6. Washington State Department of Agriculture seeking a Farm to School
Program Manager 

This exciting opportunity is a full-time Washington Management Service
(WMS) position based in Olympia, Washington. The opportunity will
offer $56,005 - $70,367 annually, depending on qualifications. 

This position will lead the new state Farm-to-School Program (created
by SB 6483) to increase the purchase of Washington-grown foods by
Washington schools thereby improving student nutrition and benefiting
local farmers. Washington-grown food includes food that is grown and
packed or processed in Washington. This new program will have high
visibility and active participation by several agencies and by
agricultural, child nutrition and environmental interests. 

This position will work with the state agencies, major stakeholder
organizations, producers and distributors, and vendors to identify
policy and procedural changes needed to facilitate increased
procurement of Washington-grown foods by schools. The position will
coordinate the agency's implementation of these changes, and encourage
adoption of these procedures by the school districts. The Program
Manager will also work with appropriate agencies to access any funding
available through the Federal Farm Bill. The Farm-to-School Program
Manager will be part of the agency Director's Office and work as part
of a team with the Small Farm Direct Marketing program and other
agency programs. 

This announcement will remain open until the position is filled.
Interviews will begin the week of June 23, 2008. 

For more information and the application form, please visit: 

7. Food System Economic Partnership of Southeast Michigan seeking a
Farm to School Program Director 

This is an exciting position with a local nonprofit dedicated to
building a better food system in Southeast Michigan, and involves
working to increase the supply of healthy and nutritious, locally,
produced food in school meals to make Farm to School a thriving
component of communities in Southeast Michigan. 

Director would coordinate and implement FSEP's FARM TO SCHOOL program,
where FSEP and its Farm to School Program Director serve as a
catalyst, facilitator, intermediary, and advisor in the development of
viable FARM TO SCHOOL projects in SE Michigan that result in locally
produced foods being served and consumed by students in school meals. 

Applications due July 1st, with a preferred start date of August 1st.
For more information, please visit: 

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