Cover Crop Educational Meeting

Date: February 10, 2015
Time: 7-9 p.m. ET
Location: MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center, E3774 University Drive, Chatham, MI 49816
Contact: Jim Isleib,, 906-387-2530

No charge for meeting. Register by calling Alger County MSU Extension 906-387-2530 or email

  • Introduction: Jim Isleib, MSU Extension U.P. Crop Production Educator Program Dean Baas, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Ag and Agribusiness Institute, MSU Extension
  • What Farmers are Saying about Cover Crops: A number of farmer surveys have been recently implemented through Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and as part of a North Central Soybean Research Program projects. Farmer insights from these surveys will be presented about cover crop benefits, choices and challenges.
  • Cover Crop Opportunities for Short Growing Seasons: Cover crop choices that are the best options for shorter growing seasons, such as in the UP, will be presented. Specifies differences, planting windows and the risk/benefit of these choices will be discussed.
  • Grazing Cover Crops: Grazing cover crops is a way to get additional economic benefit from including cover crops in your rotations. Cover crop use for rehabilitating pasture, prior to forage crops and following corn silage will be discussed.
  • Cover Crop Planting Alternatives: There are more options available for planting cover crops than drilling after crop harvest. Using a planter, aerial seeding into standing crops, highboy seeding into standing crops, combination harvester/cover crop seeding and manure slurry seeding will be discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of these different seeding methods will be presented.
  • Resources for Selecting Cover Crops: There are a number of good resources available to assist farmers/CCA’s in making cover crop decisions. They include publications as well as web-based resources. Managing Cover Crops Profitably, The Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide, the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) website, MCCC listserv and the MCCC Cover Crop Decision Tool will be presented and discussed.
  • Michigan SARE Program: The SARE program offers a variety of grants to support farmer’s innovative ideas, research and training for extension and other agricultural professionals. The Michigan SARE program facilitates this work in our state. Opportunities available to farmers will be described.

About Dean Baas: Dean Baas is a Senior Research Associate for Michigan State University (MSU) Extension. He has research and extension experience in sustainable agriculture, cover crops and water quality. Farmers and commodity groups are an integral part of his projects and programs. He directs activities for the Midwest Cover Crops Council including the promotion of cover crop usage in the Midwest and the development of tools to assist farmers in cover crop decision-making. As State Coordinator for NCR-SARE, Baas manages activities for the Michigan professional development program. He promotes and advises applicants for NCR-SARE programs including Research and Education; Professional Development; Farmer Rancher; Graduate Student; Youth Educator; and Youth grants. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Geosciences and Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from MSU. Prior to returning to MSU for graduate study, he had a 20-year career with the Kellogg Company.

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