Michigan Organic Agriculture Listserv

Aug 8, 2011

The news included in this listserv is supported only by the individual author and affiliated instituted and not Michigan State University.


Agriculture Production News

Hot and sunny days promote sunscald in peppers and other vegetables

High light and rapid growth of peppers cause sunscald if the fruit is not shaded.

Published August 2, 2011

Mathieu Ngouajio, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Horticulture

Bell pepper is a crop that requires high temperatures (65 to 95°F) for growth. Therefore, the hot weather and sunny days observed over the last couple of days have been very beneficial for bell peppers growth and development. Unfortunately, the fruit is very susceptible to sunburn (sunscald) under conditions of high irradiance. Fruit exposed to the sun become extremely hot, in contrast to fruit protected by a dense canopy. The combination of hot weather and recent rain events increased the rate of fruit expansion, making fruit even more susceptible to sunburn. Additionally, sun damage makes the fruit vulnerable to plant pathogens; therefore, growers will likely see significant crop losses from sunscald in peppers over the next couple of harvests if they have plants with exposed fruit. Losses in excess of 30 percent could easily be observed, in some situations, if we continue to have hot and sunny days. We have observed about 10 to 20 percent losses in some of our research plots this week. We are also finding damage in other crops like slicing cucumbers and early tomatoes.

To read the entire story visit on line (copy and paste)

MSU Extension helps farmers cope with late-planting impact and high feed costs

Confused about what is causing problems in your crop? MSUE offers a cite to discuss how unusual  weather that occurs impacts the crops, animals, fruit and vegetables. This cite will be available on Aug 8th and updated regularly to reflect weather occurances.

When it comes to weather, 2011 has not been kind to Michigan farmers. Experts say the heavy spring rains that delayed planting, the recent heat wave and high feed prices will have a long-lasting effect. That’s why Michigan State University (MSU) Extension (MSUE) educators and specialists have pulled together to give livestock and crop farmers quick access to key information that can help them deal with new challenges.  

Visit to find information related to your agri-business type/


Educational Events & Conferences


Morgan Compost Field Day-

Save Money, Environment and You! One input at a time.

Aug 11, 9:00-4:00 then bonfire discussion at 6

Held at Morgan Compost, Rt 10, Sears, Mich

Keynote speaker: Bob Yanda, Midwest Biosystems will speak on Overuse of nitrogen. Programs throughout the day will offer information on compost and cover crop use to provide crop nutrients, season extension, compost 


See the full program and Register-online by visiting web site:



Seeking A Fair Farm Bill-2012

Come and learn What the Farm Bill can do for farms of all sizes and locations, and HOW YOU can help make that happen in the 2012 USDA Farm Bill.


Saturday August 13, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Held at the Majestic Café

4120 Woodward Ave, Detroit MI


Sponsored by the Food and Water Watch

(313) 486-1356

Woodward Avenue –


An entrepreneurial farm tour to Southeast Michigan

This MSUE coordinated event will take place August 31 & September 1, 2011. You are invited. So are farm family members, NRCS staff, and others who may be interested. Please spread the word.


This two day tour will showcase farm families who have successfully explored and seized opportunities to enhance the profitability of their operations. Stops will feature farms with value-added ventures that are excellent examples of how family farmers are finding ways to be more profitable and sustainable while enjoying it as well. The tour will highlight a variety of farm operations and ventures including cheese making, CSA vegetables, large commercial potato and diversified vegetable operation, organic operations , bakery/flour milling, hoop houses, ag tourism, the Eastern Market in Detroit, corn chip processing, pastured poultry, natural beef, milking sheep, farm stores, farm stands, and many more.

A fee of $100 includes the two full days of farm visits, travel by charter bus as well as evening accommodations. Great meals are also included. Group sharing of farm ventures and other presentations will be in the evening. The starting point for this venture is US-127 & M-57 at the Northwest Park & Ride near Pompeii. Sponsors to help offset the cost are North Central Region SARE and SunOpta Grains and Food Group.

Encourage neighbors & friends to attend. Multiple family participants are encouraged. Family discounts &individual scholarships are available. If you are interested please call the Gratiot MSU Extension office at 989-875-5233 for details and to register (space is li


Making It In Michigan Conference

Oct 19, 2011

Lansing Center, Lansing Mich


Program and On-line registration can be found at

This is the one day that every entrepreneur, producer, buyer and processor in food and agricultural businesses needs to attend. Learn how to bring your dreams and goals to reality.

2011 Making it in Michigan MSU Product Center Conference will offer…

2011 Marketplace Trade Show

If you are a new or existing business trying to find the right customers and expand your markets, the 2011 Marketplace Trade Show is a must for your business success. With the overwhelming success of previous years, we had a record number of vendors, more than 130 this fall.


Grant Opportunities


The People's Garden Grant Program

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to

announce the release of the FY 2011 Request for Applications (RFA) for

the People's Garden Grant Program (PPGP).  The program is designed to

facilitate the creation of produce, recreation, and/or wildlife gardens

in urban and rural areas, which will provide opportunities for

science-based informal education. This program is a joint initiative

supported by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, Animal and Plant

Health Inspection Service, Food and Nutrition Service, Forest Service,

and Natural Resources Conservation Service, in addition to NIFA.

Successful applicants will provide micro-subgrant support to smaller

local projects. Please feel free to forward this announcement to those that might be

interested in applying.


Deadline:  Applications must be received by by 5 p.m.

Eastern Time on Friday, August 26, 2011.



Interested potential applicants can participate on a teleconference to

get details about the People¹s Garden Grant Program on Aug. 4, 2011 at

1 p.m., EDT. To participate, call toll-free (888) 858-2144; the access

code is 1059897. For those unable to participate in the call, NIFA will

post a summary of the questions and information provided to our

website. Dr. Tom Bewick is directing the program and can be reached at

[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask] or by telephone at

(202) 401-3356.


Funding Opportunity Number:  USDA-NIFA-OP-003503





NIFA Funding Opportunity Page This page

includes links to the request for applications (RFA), the NIFA Application Guide, the application package, and abstracts of

funded projects. Synopsis Page:;jsessionid=KzYXTv7Q09w7VLvlxsh43vTs qnhLDwp10CGNxXsTQ1PGVLxSF4RX!751481409oppId=108453&mode=VIEW 


This page includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the

full announcement (RFA) and the application package. Application Package:;jsessionid=tQ4bTv7Tj

w2LQp8J2TwDlywV98z2McbzpGVmyF11K2xNr2pLxb2T!751481409?opportunity=USDA-NIF A-OP-003503&agencycode=USDA-NIFA


This page links to the application instructions and the application package.


If you have questions regarding the RFA, please contact: Dr. Tom

Bewick, [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask] or

(202) 401-3356.


If you have any questions related to content, contact the Contact Center:

Email:  [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask],

Phone: Toll Free:

1-800-518-4726, 24 hour support, excluding Federal holidays.


Useful Links:

NIFA Grant Application Information:<http://www.nifa.usda.go

v/funding/application_info.html Help:<




Vicki Morrone

C. S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Outreach Specialist for Organic Vegetable and Field Crops

303 Natural Resources

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (cell)

517-353-3834 (Fax)



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