Marilyn Thelen                                                                        Clinton Conservation District
 989-224-5240                                                                                      989-224-3720, ext. 3                                                 
December 2016
In This Issue

As we wrap up the harvest on 2016 it is time to reflect on the success and challenges of the 2016 growing season and prepare to the coming year. 

News and Notes lists many educational programs offered in the Mid-Michigan area.  Producers can prepare for pesticide certification tests , as well as, attend meetings reviewing current research on crop production and pest management .  New for 2017 are local programs for water management as well as recognizing and managing farm stress .  Details and registration for these as well as programs offered across the state can be found on MSU Extension News events page at

We are also pleased to provide research to inform management decisions.  Reports of land values, variety trial and soybean production trials were recently released.  Learn where these reports can be obtained in this issue of News & Notes .

News & Notes is a publication of both MSU Extension and the Clinton Conservation District.  To subscribe to the e-mail version of News & Notes , i ssue, simply send an e-mail to with News & Notes in the subject line. 

Your friends MSU Extension and the Clinton Conservation District would like to extend a heart-felt Merry Christmas and wishes for a safe and prosperous New Year to you and your family.

Marilyn L. Thelen, Sr. Educator                                   John Switzer, Executive Director
Integrated Cropping and Livestock Systems               Clinton Conservation District
Michigan State University Extension
Events and Happenings
December 9, 2016 - Farmland & Rental Meeting for Landlords & Farmers, Isabella Co. MSU Extension Office, 2nd Floor, 200 N. Main St., Mt. Pleasant, 1 - 4 p.m., no cost if pre-registered, register here or call 989-672-3870, other locations available

December 15, 2016 - 2016 Dry Bean Outlook Conference , Turk Lake Restaurant, 161 S. Turk Lake Dr., Greenville, 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., questions call 989-262-8550

December 15, 2016 - 2016 Thumb Ag Review, Shiawassee County meeting, Gracie's County Inn, 9483 Genesee St., New Lothrop; 9:00 a.m. - Noon; Cost $20 (includes lunch at noon); 3 RUP credits; Questions 810-667-0341; pre-register

December 20, 2016 - 2016 Integrated Crop Pest Management Update, MSU Pavilion, East Lansing; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Cost $60 includes lunch, handouts & 2017 MSU Weed Control Guide; CCA, MDARD & MAEAP credits pending; Registration deadline is Dec. 19th, register here or call George Silva 517-543-4467

January 4, 2017 -   Pesticide Applicator Certification Testing , Genesee County MSU Extension Office, 605 N. Saginaw, Ste. 1A, Flint,  Test 9:00 a.m. , Test sign-up MDA 1-800-292-3939 or online at  

January 9-11, 2017 - Michigan Agri-Business Association 84th Annual Winter Conference & Trade Show, Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing; Contact MABA 517-336-0223 or; pre-register

January 12, 2017 - Pest & Crop Management Update for Field Crop Producers & Agronomists, Comfort Inn & Suites and Conference Center, 2424 S. Mission St., Mt. Pleasant; 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; Cost $25 (incl. meal & 2017 Weed Control Guide); Space is limited, register early

January 13, 2017 -   Pest & Crop Management Update for Field Crop Producers & Agronomists , Saginaw Valley Research & Education Center, 3775 S. Reese Rd., Frankenmuth; 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; Cost $25 (incl. meal & 2017 Weed Control Guide); Space is limited, register early

January 17, 2017 - 2017 MI Bean & Sugarbeet Symposium, Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State St., Saginaw; Contact Steve or Karlie 989-758-2500 x-237 or

January 20, 2017 - Managing Farm Stress Workshop, AgroLiquid, 3055 W. M-21, St. Johns; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.; No cost, lunch included; pre-register

January 25-26, 2017 - Great Lakes Crop Summit, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd, Mount Pleasant; 10 RUP/10 CCA/1 MAEAP credits available if entire summit is attended; Questions Theresa Sisung 888-323-6601; pre-register

January 27-28, 2017 - 16th Annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference, Grand Traverse Resort, 100 Grand Traverse Village Boulevard, Acme, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m; Contact or 231-622-5252 

January 30 - May 8, 2017 - Beginning Farmer Webinar Series, 7-9 p.m., $10 fee per webinar, check out topics, dates and register here

February 2-4, 2017 - Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference, Bavarian Inn & Conference Center, 1 Covered Bridge Lane, Frankenmuth; Contact Megan 517-884-7089 or; pre-register

February 9, 2017 - Pesticide Applicator Certification Testing, Isabella Co. MSU Extension Office, 200 N. Main St., Mt. Pleasant;  Test 1:00 p.m. , Test sign-up MDA 1-800-292-3939 or online at  

February 13-March 27, 2017 - Field Crops Webinar Series, $15 for entire series or $5 per webinar, 1 RUP credit per webinar attended, contact James DeDecker (989) 734-2168 or, click here for topics, dates, and registration

February 17, 2017 - Pesticide Review and Test, Caledonia Township Hall, 135 N. State St., Owosso; Review 9:00 a.m., Test 1:00 p.m.; Cost for review $20, 3 RUP credits,  register hereTest sign-up MDA 1-800-292-3939 or online at ; Call for review material availability 989-224-5241

February 21, 2017 - Pest & Crop Management Update for Field Crop Producers & Agronomists, Cabela's, 110 Cabelas Blvd. East, Dundee; 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.;  Cost $25 (incl. meal & 2017 Weed Control Guide); Space is limited, register early

February 23, 2017 - Cover Your ASSets!, Agro-Liquid, 3055 W. M-21, St. Johns, Free to attend, 8:30 a.m. culminating with lunch (no cost), pre-register

February 23, 2017 - SE Michigan Veg Meeting, Cabela's, 110 Cabela Blvd. East, Dundee, Contact Marissa Schuh for details 517-264-5309

February 24, 2017 - Pesticide Review and Test, Clinton Co. Fairgrounds, Smith Hall, 800 Sickles St., St. Johns, Review 9:00 a.m., Test 1:00 p.m.; Cost for review $20, 3 RUP credits, register hereTest sign-up MDA 1-800-292-3939 or online at; Call for review material availability 989-224-5241

March 4-11, 2017 - Agriculture and Natural Resources Week (ANR Week), Visit the website for details or contact ANR Event Services - 517-353-3175 or 

March 6, 2017 - Ag Labor Meeting, Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center, 3775 S. Reese Rd., Frankenmuth; 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Targeting fruit and vegetable growers; Contact Ben Philips for details 616-901-7513

March 7, 2017 - Ag Labor Meeting, Cabela's, 110 Cabelas Blvd. East, Dundee; 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Targeting fruit and vegetable growers; Contact Ben Philips for details 616-901-7513

March 14-15, 2017 - 2017 Midwest Cover Crop Council Annual Meeting, Crown Plaza 5700 28th St., SE, Grand Rapids

March 22, 2017 - Pesticide Review and Test, Gratiot-Isabella RESD, 1131 E. Center St., Ithaca; Review 8:00 a.m., Test 1:00 p.m.; Cost for review $20, 4 RUP credits, register here; Test sign-up MDA 1-800-292-3939 or online at; Call for review material availability 989-875-5234

On-Going - Mercury Health Thermometer Exchange , MMDHD Building, 1307 E. Townsend Road, Suite 102, St Johns 

On-Going - Medication Disposal Programs, click to see specific dates and locations for medication disposal events.  Also Sparrow Clinton Hospital Pharmacy & Central Pharmacy in Laingsburg can accept all non-controlled pills, tablets and liquids year round, free of charge. Please call 989-224-8155 or 517-651-1777 for details. 
The Clinton Conservation District and Michigan State University Extension are excited to announce an upcoming workshop opportunity geared to local producers. The sessions will provide tools needed for best management of soil, water and nutrients on and off the farm. 

Sessions to include:

Drainage Water Management - keep those valuable nutrients on the field! 
Dr Ghane, a newly appointed drainage water management specialist with Michigan State University Extension, will provide information on how to manage drainage water, tools available for control and the benefits managing tile water has for you and your soil!
Cover Crops - an important tool in your arsenal.
Have you ever wondered what kind of cover crop mix is best for your production? Are cover crops even suitable for your farm?  Extension educator Paul Gross will explain how cover crops can enhance your soil, feed livestock and keep you on top of the soil instead of in it next fall. 
Conservation Programs - What can we do for you?
MAEAP, NRCS and the Conservation District all have programs that benefit you and your farm, learn how these programs and technical assistance can help you manage your risks.

Plus, James DeDecker will provide an update on a local project looking at crop management practices and their impact on soil health and crop yield!

Programming will take place on Thursday, February 23rd at Agro-Liquid in St Johns.  Registration will begin promptly at 8:30am. We hope you'll join us for this free event culminating in lunch provided by Litwiller Catering!  RSVP today!

Contact the Clinton Conservation District at 989-224-3720 ext. 5 or  with questions or to RSVP.  Remember to LIKE the Clinton Conservation District on Facebook for the latest news!
January 20, 2017
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. with Lunch (no cost)
AgroLiquid, 3055 W. M-21, St. Johns

Farmers and those within the agricultural industry have a tendency to be eternal optimists, but with all of the variability in agriculture, there are times when we can become overwhelmed and stressed more than usual.  MSU Extension has developed a workshop specially designed for people who work with agricultural producers and farm families who want to know more about managing farm-related stress and learn ways to approach and communicate with those in need.

The workshop will include:
  •  Adam Kantrovich discussing the present agricultural market situation with an overview of how this has affected a farm's financial situation and cash flow.
  •  Roger Betz discussing his experiences working with farm families that are under financial distress.
  •  Suzanne Pish highlighting the detrimental impact of stress on our body and state of mind, providing information on how to recognize some of the warning signs of depression, self-harm and mental illness.
For more information on this topic, read How to Cultivate a Productive Mindset 
Looking for the most current information from Michigan State University? 

is now available online, 
c all 989-224-5241 if you would like a hard copy.
Michigan State University has collected information on land value and leasing rates since 1991.  The compiled report serves as a snapshot of values for the sale and leasing of lands in Michigan .   In 2016, the state average value of tiled, field crop land in the Southern Lower Peninsula, was $5,011/acre.  Cash rent for Michigan was $128/acre, range $85 - $145.  For complete information on land values in regions around the state and for various crops, spend some time this winter reviewing this report.
is now available online, 
c all 989-224-5241 if you would like a hard copy.  
The Michigan State University Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences conduct hybrid corn trials each year in cooperation with Michigan State University AgBio Research stations, seed corn companies, and farmers to determine yield and quality performance.

will be available soon, 
c all 989-224-5241 if you would like a hard copy.  
This is a result of a cooperative effort of Michigan State University, Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. This information will help you to make informed critical choices for your 2017 soybean crop. Publication and distribution of this report is provided by checkoff funds through the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee . A searchable database is available at
Have you read or heard about MAEAP lately? Have you driven by a farm and their flashy "Environmentally Verified" sign caught your eye? Are you curious how MAEAP can help your farming operation and get you involved? Here's an overview to get you in the loop!

So what is MAEAP?
MAEAP ( M ichigan A griculture E nvironmental A ssurance P rogram) is a free, voluntary and confidential program designed to help you prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks. The program is formed around establishing cost-effective pollution prevention practices with the notion of complying with state and federal environmental regulations.
Few quick facts:
  •  MAEAP can be tailored for any commodity type or size farming operation
  •  Farm records are spotlighted in the Cropping System
  •  Livestock farms operating under a NPDS Permit already have most of the pieces in order for the Livestock and Cropping Systems
  •  RUP Credits can be earned by scheduling an initial farm visit and completing the program by getting MAEAP Verified
Many of your neighbors and cooperative members are actively working through one or more of the four different program areas; Farmstead, Cropping System, Livestock System, and Forest, Wetlands, & Habitat System. In fact, over 70 producers in Clinton County have taken steps towards reducing their on-farm environmental risk over the past 5 years.

So why should a farmer participate?
  •  Access to cost share & incentive payments through NRCS
  •  Learn & improve agricultural practices
  •  Peace of mind/right thing to do
  •  Conformance with the Right to Farm Act
  •  Conformance with the GAAMPs (Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices)
  •  Follow State & Federal Laws
  •  Legislative Incentives
  •  Help protect the Great Lakes
  •  Maximize natural nutrients & reduce the use of commercial fertilizers
  •  Ensure safe storage of fuel, fertilizer, and chemicals
  •  Balance efficient production and sound environmental practices
  •  Have emergency plans in place, ready to deal with the unexpected
  •  Protect natural resources by using environmentally sound practices
Get a hold of me!
Knowing your environmental risks is a forward way of thinking to enhance your business strategy for future generations to come.

If you would like more information or to schedule a confidential farm appointment, contact Lindsey Martin at the Clinton Conservation District - office: (989) 224-3720 ext. 110, mobile: (989) 640-4508, e-mail:
In August of this year MSU Field Crops Entomologist Dr. Chris DiFonzo was receiving numerous reports of high Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) infestations and damage in south and central Michigan.  By October 2016 she said "This fall, the wheels have fallen off the cart" as the reports of  unacceptable WBC damage in corn with Cry1F were being reported by extension entomologies and industry representative across the Great Lakes States.  While this topic will be addressed in detail at 
MSU Extension winter meetings , it is important to start the discussion now. 
When selecting seed corn for next year, recognize that the following will not provide control for WBC:  Cry1F hybrids, Cry1AB hybrids, double/triple pro hybrids and non-Bt hybrids.  Fields will need to be scouted for egg masses and sprayed with foliar insecticides if needed.  Once ear feeding is detected it is too late for rescue treatments.
For more information on this topic, read Efficacy of Cry1F trait on western bean cutworm.
seedling with 2 tillers
Can there be too much wheat growth in the fall?  According to Martin Nagelkirk, MSU Extension, generally, the answer is no. The significant development almost always bodes well for productivity next season.  However, there can be a disease called snow mold, but that is rarely seen in Michigan.  For those fields planted in mid-September that already have several tillers, it is worthwhile scouting for aphids, leaf diseases and potential nutrient deficiencies.  The micronutrient that might be most commonly deficient is manganese (Mn).   It comes into question in soils that are high in pH or organic matter. If there are deficient areas, one may want to apply Mn yet this fall, as these areas could be dead by next spring if severe. It may well be that these areas will need retreating next spring.  Mid-September seedings are not discouraged but seeding rates should be limited to 1.2 to 1.4 million per acre and the fertilizer N rate should be low. 

This wheat management tip is from Soft Winter Wheat notes and observations for Michigan.  To sign up for this newsletter email :    click here by text:  type 22828 as address, and miwheat as message (you will receive a text asking for your email address)  
The Clinton Conservation District recently joined the Mid-Michigan CISMA (MM-CISMA) in an effort to combat invasive species in the region.  The MM-CISMA was established in April 2016 by the Ingham Conservation District through funding from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP) , a program through the Departments of Natural Resources , Environmental Quality , and Agriculture and Rural Development . This CISMA covers Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, and Ionia counties and creates a partnership between the four county Conservation Districts and over 25 local organizations.
The MM-CISMA increases our ability to work together across jurisdictional lines coordinating prevention, early detection, and rapid response to invasive species both on land and in our lakes and streams. Currently, the MM-CISMA is prioritizing black swallow-wort , Japanese knotweed , and invasive phragmites . Through education and outreach, identification and reporting, and treatment of invasive species on public lands, we hope to spread the word, not the species, in Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, and Ionia counties.
In the last six months, the MM-CISMA has attended outreach events with an educational display and materials, hosted mobile boat washes and Landing Blitzes at local lakes, and joined in partner organizations' invasive species work days. The MM-CISMA has also hosted identification training and invasive species field surveys on public lands in all four counties, including a survey of the 42-mile stretch of the Fred Meijer CIS Trail in Clinton County by Clinton Conservation District staff and Friends of the CIS Trail. The MM-CISMA reports all invasive species to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) and is very close to doubling the number of invasive plant reports from 2015! You can help the MM-CISMA by reporting invasive species in your area. Learn about reporting at .        
Future activities include a Clean Boats, Clean Waters training, municipal trainings, new outreach events, and mobile boat wash and field survey events. For more information and to stay updated on MM-CISMA activities, visit or like the Mid-Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area Facebook page.
Mobile Boat Wash event at Park Lake in July
Invasive Species ID and Field Survey Training in St. Johns in September
The 2017 Custom Machine & Work Rate Estimates is now available online, c all 989-224-5241 if you would like a hard copy.
If you are hiring or doing custom work, MSU Extension Educator Dennis Stein's easy to use table may be able to help you. Custom rates are based on traditional or usual rates set in the community, the bargaining positions of both parties (i.e., availability of machinery services and demand for machinery services in your local area) and cost of operating the machines on your farm. 
The Clinton Conservation District will be conducting a survey of Clinton County residents to determine the most pressing concerns for our soil, water, and natural areas.  The survey is part of an effort undertaken by the District every five years to get public input on the condition of our natural resources.  The information provided will help us develop a strategic plan that will prioritize efforts and direct resources towards the most important conservation needs of the County.  Additionally, the information will be used to determine if any new programs are needed in the County to address our most pressing conservation needs over the next five years. 
The Clinton Conservation District was created in 1954 by county referendum, in response to soil erosion concerns.  Our mission is to provide information and technical assistance to private landowners, local units of government, educational institutions and other citizens to better understand, plan, manage, protect and utilize the resources of Clinton County.  Today soil erosion still remains a major focus of the District, but we also provide education and services on soil health, watershed management, wildlife habitat improvement, and woodland management.
Your opinion matters to us.  In fact, it is our guiding philosophy that decisions on conservation issues should be made at the local level, by local people, with technical assistance provided by government.  Surveys will be available this winter both electronically and in paper form.  Your opinion will help shape the way we plan, manage, protect, and utilize our resources for current and future generations.  Check out our website this winter to take the survey.  We hope to hear from you!
Up to five commercial or private core pesticide recertification credits are available for Michigan applicators until Dec. 31, 2016. No registration or fees required.

Looking to learn more about integrated pest management ( IPM) or get some end-of-year recertification credits? Check out Michigan State University's IPM Academy Online Webinars, a series of on-demand webinars created to help Michigan growers identify pest management resources and understand IPM basics.

Registration is not required and they are available for free. Simply visit the IPM Academy Online Webinars webpage at your convenience and view one or all of the prerecorded webinars. Viewers can earn up to five pesticide recertification credits. A computer with internet connectivity, a web browser and speakers are required.

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Contact: Beth Stuever, 517- 884-7097


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