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Monroe Co. hosts soy, cover crop, hemp field day

Farmers in the western basin of Lake Erie are invited to a Soybean Management and Research Technology (SMaRT)/ Cover Crop/Industrial Hemp field day at the new Monroe County Community College farm.  This event is free of charge and will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4.  The location of the MCCC farm field is at 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, MI.

The two soybean SMaRT research projects that will be showcased include; Max-in Sulfur, and foliar fungicide and insecticide.  An MSU soybean nematode project can be viewed and will be discussed as well as fourteen cover crops, along with planting and terminating suggestions.  Industrial hemp will also be discussed, and new this year is an Ida Farmers Co-op soybean variety demonstration plot.  

Cover crops are plants seeded into farm fields, either within or outside of the normal growing season, with the primary purpose of maintaining or improving the quality of the ecosystem.  At this location various grass and legume crops have been drilled no-till in demonstration plots.

A study by the American Society of Agronomy in 2014 found that if farmers can reduce phosphorus runoff by one pound per acre, it will help reduce the amount going into Lake Erie.  One pound per acre is insignificant agronomically, but with 3.7 million acres in Michigan in the Lake Erie watershed, it will help significantly environmentally.

Sponsors of this educational field day include Monroe Conservation District, Ag Advisory Council, USDA NRCS, Monroe County Community College, Monroe County Farm Bureau, the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology, the Michigan soybean checkoff program, MSU Extension, and the Ida Farmers Co-op.

A ribeye steak lunch will be served at noon and pesticide re-certification credits, CCA credits and a MAEAP Phase 1 credit will be available at the end of the day.  For reservations, contact the Monroe Conservation District at 734-241-8540 ext. 5 by Friday, Aug. 30.  For more information, contact Ned Birkey at 734-260-3442.