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EAST LANSING, MI. – This weekly series for farmers and agribusinesses focuses on field crop pest and crop management topics during the growing season.

Each year, farmers have a sense of anticipation, excitement, joy, anxiety and relief as they prepare for the new growing season. Farming is a profession that requires a certain amount of faith concerning things beyond their control such as weather, potential pests and crop prices. To address potential issues and concerns during the growing season, Michigan State University Extension will host the Field Crops Virtual Breakfast Series beginning Thursday, April 1, through Sept. 23, 2021, from 7-7:30 a.m. via Zoom. This weekly webinar meeting will be the fourth year that farmers, agribusiness personnel and others interested in agriculture can interact with MSU Extension specialists and educators to get answers for their questions.

Topic areas are loosely established at the beginning of the series based on historical trends; however, the Virtual Breakfast Series is flexible, fluid and able to adapt to changes that might occur due to unforeseen growing conditions. Each week will feature an MSU specialist and topic followed by a weather summary and forecast by Jeff Andresen, MSU Extension climatologist. Following the scheduled talks, discussions between farmers, educators and specialists will continue until 8 a.m.

Each weekly session will have one restricted use pesticide (RUP) credit (1A, 1B, Comm and Private Core) and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units (CEU). Those that want to receive their RUP and CCA credits can leave after the more formal presentation time, however, everyone is welcome to stay for the discussion period that lasts until 8 a.m.

A 2020 virtual breakfast participant said “They were excellent. On time, professional and timely topics. I took away at least one piece of information that I did not know from each session. I loved the format of info, weather, then open for questions. Great work!”

Participant input and feedback have been critical in the development of this series and will continue to shape the program.

Scheduled topics and dates

April 1 - Early Soybean Planting with Mike Staton

April 8 - Early Season Weed Control with Christy Sprague

April 15 - Soil Fertility Issues with Kurt Steinke

April 22 - Corn and Soybean Planting Considerations with Manni Singh

April 29 - Slug Management with Kelley Tilmon, Ohio State University

May 6 - Rhizoctonia Management with Daniel Bublitz

May 13 - Postemergence Weed Control with Erin Burns

May 20 - Head Scab Management with Dennis Pennington and Marty Chilvers

May 27 - Dry Bean Considerations with Scott Bales

June 3 - Irrigation Scheduling Documentation with Lyndon Kelley

June 10 - Organic Field Crop Production with Vicki Morrone

June 17 - TBD

June 24 - Sugar Beet Cercospora – BeetCast with Jaime Wilbur

July 1 - Cover Crops After Wheat with Dean Baas

July 8 - Farm Stress with Eric Karbowski

July 15 - Drainage Water Quality with Ehsan Ghane

July 22 - Tar Spot and White Mold with Marty Chilvers

July 29 - TBD    

August 5 - Insect Update with Chris DiFonzo

August 12 - Late Season Alfalfa Harvest with Kim Cassida

August 19 - TBD

August 26 - Getting the Most from Late Manure Application with Brook Wilke

September 2 - Wheat Planting with Dennis Pennington

September 9 - Scouting for Weed Escapes and Management with Christy Sprague

September 16 - Soybean Cyst Nematode Sampling with Marisol Quintanilla

September 23 - Farm Tax Management with Corey Clark

Participating in the Field Crops Virtual Breakfast Series is easy and free! You can join the live meeting via Zoom using a computer, tablet, mobile device or regular phone line. If you are new to Zoom, simply download the Zoom app and you will be ready to join online every week to see visuals shared by presenters. A call-in by phone option is also available but note that you will only hear the audio portion. 

Participants must sign up to receive an email notification with instructions for joining the Virtual Breakfast. You only need to do this once and you will receive the Zoom link and call-in phone number, as well as weekly reminders every Wednesday. Participants receiving emails can opt in or out at any time.

If you cannot participate in the live session at 7 a.m., you can view the recorded version at any time. However, only the live session will be eligible for RUP and CCA credits. Recordings will be closed-captioned and available at the Field Crops Virtual Breakfast webpage and the MSU Extension Field Crops Team social media platforms: Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts and Twitter. 

If you are unable to sign up online, call the Lapeer County MSU Extension office at 810-667-0341.

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