Submitted by Jerry Lindquist

Michigan State University Extension

OSCEOLA COUNTY — From irrigation to the use of drones on farms, a variety of topics for crop producers and farmers will be covered at an upcoming conference scheduled for Saturday.

Michigan State University Extension, in partnership with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Missaukee, Osceola and Wexford County Conservation Districts, has announced the second Highland Ag and Natural Resources Conference on Saturday, March 11, at Baker College, 9600 E. 13th St., in Cadillac.

Registration and the trade show will open at 8:30 a.m. and the classes run from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are 20 different, one-hour sessions scheduled over the course of the day.

Key topics for farmers raising field crops will include classes on weed control and irrigation. In the morning, Dr. Christy Sprague, of MSU’s Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Department, will speak on new herbicide programs for corn and soybeans that are coming out this year for tough-to-control, herbicide-resistant weeds. Also in the morning, MSU Extension educator Lyndon Kelly will speak on irrigation updates for Michigan crop and tree farmers. In the afternoon, Sprague will speak again on the growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds and what Michigan farmers need to do to better manage them.

Other topics will include sheep and goat management, using drones on farms, a wildlife disease update from the Department of Natural Resources, improving land for wildlife, farm financial management during tough economic times, raising chestnuts, soil health improvement, selecting the best cover crops, woodlot management and more. Attendance at the event is worth four pesticide recertification credits and Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program Phase 1 credits for farms.

The conference will offer a special session for students interested in careers in agriculture or natural resources. Agriculture and natural resources-related businesses and agencies also will be on hand in the trade show area. One special trade show booth for U.S. veterans interested in career opportunities in agriculture will be available.

There is a small registration fee which also covers lunch. If not preregistered by Thursday, March 9, the registration fee goes up slightly at the door. To register, download the agenda or view sponsorship and vendor opportunities, please visit Highland Ag and Natural Resources Conference online at MSU Events Management.

For general questions, please contact Jerry Lindquist at lindquis@anr.msu.edu or (231) 832-6139.