Michigan Organic Listserv

May 27, 2022


From the desk of Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask]) at Michigan State University.

This news is to help you farm and manage your business. There is no intent to promote products or service operators.



It’s time to get read to apply for the 2022 N0P Organic Cost Share Program!

For the fine details visit: https://www.farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/otecp

This program is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Are you an organic farmer certified by a USDA NOP agency?


Are you a farmer in transition-using organic practices in year 1, 2, or 3 with the into to become certified as a NOP organic farmer?

Then you can apply for cost share from the USDA Farm Bill. You can receive partial reimbursement for:

This cost share program is open till Oct 31, 2022. You apply through your local FSA office.

Karen Vozarik, FSA organic cost share officer in Ingham County, has shared a great summary to help all of us understand!

Steps to getting your cost share refund

  1. To locate YOUR FSA office visit: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=mi&agency=fsa  and click on your county in Michigan.


  1. Call to make an appointment. The application process typically takes 15-20 minutes but 30 minutes top at the FSA office. You will receive receipts for the process and your documents will be photocopied and returned to you during your appointment.


  1. Bring receipts of payments and most recent organic certificate(s) (even if not this year’s).


  1. Bring all certificates for each system you have NOP certified (crop, livestock, wild crop, and handling)!


  1. Bring a voided check with you to appointment so they can set up for direct deposit of your refund.

Eligible Expenses


Certified organic operations (USDA NOP) may receive reimbursement for: 

•                      • certification application fees 

•                      • NOP organic inspection costs 

•                      • fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements 

•                      • travel/per diem for inspectors 

•                      • user fees 

•                      • certifier sales assessments 

•                      • postage 

•                      • soil testing 

•                      • educational event registration fees


Transitional operations may receive reimbursement for: (Year 1, 2 or 3 on any parts of your farm)


•                      • fees charged by a certifying agent or consultant for pre-certification inspections 

•                      • fees charged for the development of an organic system plan 

•                      • soil testing 

•                      • educational event registration fees. 


Expenses Not Allowed for Cost Share

•                      • inspections necessary to address National Organic Program regulatory violations 

•                      • expenses related to non-USDA organic certifications 

•                      • expenses related to any other labeling program 

•                      • expenses related to materials/supplies/equipment 

•                      • late fees 

•                      • membership fees 

•                      • consultant fees (except as described above for transitional operations) 

•                      • expenses related to educational event attendance other than registration fees 

•                      • expenses for tests other than soil testing for micronutrient deficiencies 


A Payment in Program Year

Eligible expenses depend on the date they were paid. See list below.


Eligible expenses include only expenses that are paid from:

·                  October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020, for the 2020 program year

·                  October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021, for the 2021 program year

·                  October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022, for the 2022 program year.


Note: Expenses that have been incurred during the program year but not paid during these time periods are not eligible for cost share assistance.

 If you have questions call your local FSA office or you can email Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask]).



NFWF Announces $2.6 Million in Grants to Accelerate Adoption of Cover Crops in Six Midwestern States

Five funded projects with support from ADM and NRCS will provide farmers with technical and financial resources to reach the goal of a half a million acres of cover crops planted

May 24, 2022 09:41 ET | Source: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Minneapolis, MN, May 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In partnership with ADM and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $2.6 million in grant awards to help farmers plant cover crops across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan and Minnesota. Awarded under NFWF’s Midwest Cover Crop Initiative, these five grants will support implementation of this beneficial agricultural practice on 500,000 acres. 

NFWF administers the Midwest Cover Crop Initiative to support large-scale, voluntary adoption of cover crops in corn, soybean and wheat systems across the Midwest. Typically grown after harvest of cash crops, cover crops minimize bare soil, improve soil productivity, store and sequester carbon, help prevent runoff and erosion, and improve wildlife habitat associated with agricultural lands. 

Farmers who implement cover-crop systems may see improvements in long-term profitability through reduced input costs and higher yields. By accelerating the adoption of this practice, the grants announced today will help enhance soil health, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, improve water resources, and support wildlife while providing economic benefits to participating farmers. 

“Cover crops are a win–win for farmers and conservation,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “We are proud to partner with ADM and NRCS to accelerate the adoption of a regenerative agriculture practice that generates so many benefits for our water, wildlife, the climate, farming communities and farmers’ bottom lines.”

Grant recipients include American Farmland Trust, Ducks Unlimited, Kansas Association of Conservation Districts, Minnesota Soil Health Coalition, and Practical Farmers of Iowa. These organizations will provide farmers with technical assistance to help navigate the various agronomic and social factors that can pose barriers to cover crop adoption. They will work closely with farmers to plan and implement approaches that make practical and economic sense for their individual operations.

The five grant recipients will also help farmers enroll in public and private programs designed to defray costs and minimize financial risk associated with practice adoption. Grant recipients will work to increase participation in established Farm Bill cost-share programs managed by NRCS, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. In addition, they will coordinate enrollment in a new private incentive program, under which ADM will commit $20 million over the next four years in support of participating farmers. By providing an opportunity to stack these new private payments with more-traditional public financial assistance, the Midwest Cover Crop Initiative increases the financial resources available to farmers and further incentivizes broad practice adoption.

For full article visit: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/05/24/2449508/0/en/NFWF-Announces-2-6-Million-in-Grants-to-Accelerate-Adoption-of-Cover-Crops-in-Six-Midwestern-States.html



Michigan vegetable crop report - May 18, 2022

Benjamin PhillipsBenjamin WerlingMichael ReinkeMary HausbeckSushila ChaudhariZsofia SzendreiZachary HaydenDaniel BrainardJeffrey AndresenJaime Willbur and Jan Byrne

Read this newsletter in its entirety: https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/michigan-vegetable-crop-report-may-18-2022


Watch Jeff Andresen’s weather update.

Last week saw record-breaking max temperatures in parts of the state, with mean temperatures 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Precipitation varied a lot. The southwestern lower had little or no rainfall while localized areas in Oceana and Newaygo counties got multiple inches in a few hours. There was an explosion in phenological development. Degree day totals (base 50 F) jumped from one to two weeks behind on May 8 to a week or more ahead by today. We saw summer-like soil drying with potential evapotranspiration totaling 1.25-1.5 inches for the past week.

The forecast calls for:

Help is here: Get plugged into the new Enviroweather

Do you need help with setting up an account and dashboard on Enviroweather’s new website? You can send an email to [log in to unmask] with the weather stations, crops and models that you are interested in, and we’ll set it up.

Herbicide injury

It is getting close to the time when herbicide injury will become something to look out for. We met a grower last week who has made scouting for drift damage a new spring routine, similar to scouting for insects or disease. The faster you can respond with a report to MDARD, the more likely they will be able to recover residue that can be used as evidence of misapplication. MDARD is also likely to audit your own records as a part of their investigation.

Greenhouse management

Michigan State University’s Dave Smitley and Mary Hausbeck have updated their greenhouse insect and disease management recommendations for the 2022 greenhouse season. Pay special attention to individual labels as they relate to vegetables and herbs. The crop’s end-use influences labeling.

Yellowing of the oldest leaves, browning leaf tips, and then falling off in sequence up the plant. General lack of vigor, wilting, backsliding, and death. These are all signs of root damage. In a recent visit to a transplant house, we observed this in a variety of peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants after they were potted up into larger containers. The reason? High salt content in the potting media burned the roots. The potting mix was compost-based and was apparently mixed with a ratio that was too rich for these transplants. High salts can also prevent emergence from seeds.

If you have witnessed similar symptoms, you can check for the problem using an electrical conductivity meter (EC). This is a measurement of the amount of salt in a solution and is used as an indirect metric for fertilizer levels. More fertilizer equates to higher EC. Also, with more minerals in well water, EC also increases.

The units for EC can be confusing. The standard unit is milliSiemens per centimeter (mS/cm). This is the same as millimhos per centimeter (mmoh/cm). It measures the conductivity of a solution, which is directly related to salt content. Important elements-including Nitrogen and Potassium-come in the form of salts. So it is an indirect measure of how much of these salts are available in solution around the roots.

To continue this story: https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/michigan-vegetable-crop-report-may-18-2022


Michigan vegetable crop report - May 24, 2022.

Benjamin Phillips, Benjamin Werling, Michael Reinke, Mary Hausbeck, Sushila Chaudhari, Zsofia Szendrei, Zachary Hayden, Daniel Brainard, Jeffrey Andresen, Jaime Willbur and Jan Byrne, Michigan State University Extension - May 25, 2022

Warm-season crops are taking off, asparagus harvest is strong.

A mixed-age planting of tomatoes under tunnels and in open-air from two leaves (far right) to fruit set (center), and everything in between. | Photo by Ben Phillips, MSU Extension.


Weather for week of May 24

Watch Jeff Andresen’s weather update here.

Last week saw a cool start with a warm Friday, with most areas picking up 0.5-1” of precipitation (with the exception of some West Central Counties). Degree-day accumulations are several days ahead of normal for most of the state, with the exception of the western Upper Peninsula.

The forecast calls for:

Help is here: Get plugged into the new Enviroweather

Do you need help with setting up an account and dashboard on Enviroweather’s new website?  You can send an email to [log in to unmask] with the weather stations, crops and models that you are interested in, and we’ll set it up.

A weed to watch

Purple amaranth was first detected in Michigan in 2019. This year, we have been noticing it in more places, including in field production but also in greenhouses. In some initial screening back in 2019, one population showed resistance to herbicides such as Lorox and Caparol but others were still susceptible. It has a distinct notched leaf-tip.

Photo caption: Purple rain brings purple amaranth? This newer to Michigan weed has been popping up in production fields and greenhouses in some locations. It has a distinct, notched leaf tip compared to other pigweeds, visible even on seedlings like pictured here. Photo credit: Ben Werling.

Crop updates


West Central growers had lug-busting pickings over the weekend. This week's cooler weather has helped slow things down. We are likely through the biggest pickings, though there is plenty of asparagus to come. 

AND to read about all the vegetable crops for the week of May 24, 2022  that are being grown in Michigan now visit:  https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/michigan-vegetable-crop-report-may-24-2022


Field Crop weekly zoom calls offering farmers timely info and chance for Q&A

Michigan State University Extension offers a weekly 7 am call during the growing season to address cropping issues that are of relevance to Michigan and for that time of year. This free weekly series for farmers and agribusinesses focuses on a wide array of relevant field crop pest and crop management topics during the growing season.

On June 2 at 7 am you can attend and ask questions to a panel of crop experts. Other weeks are focused on a specific topic such as white mold in soybean or planting beans for the dry bean markets. Visit the site to sign up if this is of interest. https://www.canr.msu.edu/search?siteContext=outreach&q=field+crops&contentTypeOption=calendarEvent&applicationDeadline=allEvents&latLong=&distance=10mi&county=&startDate=2022-05-27&search=Search#results



JUNE 2, 2022 7:00AM – 8:00AM ZOOM



Employment Opportunities


Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC), through the CEDAM AmeriCorps Program, has an opening for a full time AmeriCorps to serve as our Food Access Coordinator.  This AmeriCorps Member will assist with ANC's Veggie Box, a weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, with Breadbasket Pantry, our weekly free food distribution, and with the Allen Farmers Market, our year-round weekly farmers market.

For details, see the attached, or click bit.ly/serveamericorps


About Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC): ANC serves as a dynamic hub where Lansing Eastside neighbors can access resources to improve their health and well-being; expand their capacity to seize job and entrepreneurial opportunities; create a strong sense of place, belonging, and community pride; and build a safe, sustainable, and thriving neighborhood. We take an integrative approach to community revitalization, offering health,
food access, housing, social capital building, and corridor improvement programs. To learn more visit https://allenneighborhoodcenter.org/




Vicki Morrone

Organic Farming Specialist and Beginning Farmer Educator

Dept of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University

[log in to unmask]

+ 1-517-282-3557 (cell and What’s app)

Sorrone11 (skype)

If you would like to access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings copy this URL and paste in your browser address field http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html