- Remarkable Success of MSU Extension's Master Gardener Program Underscores Power of Empowerment
MSU Extension initiated the program in Michigan in 1978 and, according to the Master Gardener website, there are now over 23,000 certified volunteers in 72 counties.
- Michigan Milk Producers conserve water with new innovations, practices
At the MMPA Ovid Plant, raw milk is condensed through an evaporation process that yields an average of 130 million net gallons of water annually, which adds up to more than 400 million gallons in the last three years.
- Agricultural Leaders of Michigan launch new Ag Report
"We're excited to launch our brand new Ag Report to discuss issues that have a dramatic impact on agriculture and to discuss ideas for continuing to grow this vital sector of Michigan's economy."
- Agricultural Leaders of Michigan: Promoting Michigan agriculture's power and potential
"The things that we focus on tend to be pretty big picture," she says. "Trade is a big issue for them." Statewide infrastructure is a main focus of ALM, Byrum says, including broad topics such as roads, bridges, railroads, ports and waterways.
- MSU and Detroit plant seed for urban food system innovation
Detroit, a postindustrial city, has its weaknesses including abandoned properties and liability issues, but Foster is hopeful. "Detroit is a very unique city," he says. "We could actually be a global thought leader for cities around the world."
USDA Conservation Financial Assistance Available for SE Michigan Farmers
“This is a good opportunity for farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin to implement additional conservation activities that will not only help improve water quality but also improve soil quality on their land and help them reduce fuel and fertilizer costs,” said Kevin Wickey, acting state conservationist for NRCS.
The USDA has allocated $440,000 in financial assistance for producers in the Michigan portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin priority area. The area includes all of Lenawee and Monroe counties and portions of Hillsdale, Jackson, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. The financial assistance is available for producers to implement selected conservation activities that help prevent fertilizers and sediment from agricultural land from entering Lake Erie.
A partial list of practices eligible for financial assistance includes cover crops, residue and tillage management, filter strips, nutrient management and windbreaks. A combination of different conservation practices is most effective at curbing nutrient and sediment loss. Applications received by April 27 will be ranked with the highest ranked applicants offered financial assistance contracts.
The Western Lake Erie Basin was made a priority area by USDA because of an increase of algal blooms in the area over the past five years. Increased levels of phosphorus in surface water contribute to algal blooms which diminish water quality and are harmful to fish and other aquatic wildlife. Agricultural land in the Western Lake Erie Basin was determined to be one of the sources of increased phosphorus in surface water due to water and wind erosion.
More information about USDA conservation financial assistance is available at local NRCS offices or online at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov. A listing of NRCS offices in Michigan can also be found online at http://www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/Field%20Offices.html.