By James DeDecker , and Jon Zirkle, Michigan State University Extension
Producers and agribusiness professionals who haven't been able to travel to Michigan State University Extension's recent winter programs have no need to worry. On Thursday evenings March 14 and 21, MSUExtension will offer Online Crop and Forage Highlights addressing key production points for 2013 in a condensed virtual format. These programs will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and can be viewed independently online at no cost over a high-speed internet connection. Those unable to access the programs online can attend one of several group viewing sites throughout Michigan for $10 per person.
The March 14 program will focus on enhancing corn and small grain systems in the coming season by addressing emerging production and pest management issues. Presentations will include tips for maximizing corn production from Purdue University corn specialist Bob Nielsen, small grain production pointers from MSU Extension educators Martin Nagelkirk and Jim Isleib, a weed management report from MSU's Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Christy Sprague, and an insect pest update by MSU Extension's Bruce MacKellar.
Viewing sites for this event will be available in Bellaire, Benton Harbor, Escanaba, Grand Rapids, Monroe, Ontonagon, Rogers City, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Johns, Tustin and West Branch.
The March 21 program will address agronomic, economic and environmental aspects of forage systems. Nielsen will give a presentation on corn silage production, followed by Kim Cassida of MSU Extension and her discussion of drought recovery management for forages, a presentation on cost of production by MSU Extension's Phil Kaatz, and an introduction to MAEAP verification for forage and livestock systems by Josh Appleby.
Viewing sites for March 21 will be available in Bellaire, Benton Harbor, Escanaba, Grand Rapids, Ionia, L'Anse, Monroe, Rogers City, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Johns, Tustin and West Branch, Mich.
Central to Nielsen's presentations will be a discussion of how growers can increase corn yields in the near term by identifying the unique Yield Influencing Factors (YIFs) that most significantly impact production in their fields. There are countless potential YIFs that effect corn yield, and determining which factors are most important in a particular field is no easy task. For this reason, Nielsen recommends framing your search within the context of corn yield components including plants per acre (population or "stand"), ears per plant (degree of barrenness), kernels per ear (potential versus actual), and weight per kernel.