2012 Integrated Crop and Pest Management Update highlighted new threats and production practices

Eighty percent of participants indicated that their 2013 production practices will change as a result of educational information received at this annual event.

On December 14, over 300 participants from 44 Michigan counties attended the 13th Annual Integrated Crop and Pest Management Update at the Michigan State University Pavilion in East Lansing, Mich. A few people from Ontario, Canada, also attended. A majority of agribusiness professionals in attendance represented Michigan’s seed, fertilizer and pesticide businesses, spray service providers, retail sales and crop consultants.

The purpose was to update the Michigan State University Extension recommendations for insects, diseases, weeds and fertilizers for the 2013 growing season. Other topics addressed were the 2012 drought, rising input costs, rapidly evolving technologies, the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) and potential new threats. The timing of this event provided adequate time for companies to make year-end bulk purchasing and sales decisions. The speakers included MSU Extension faculty and educators.

A program evaluation conducted as part of the agenda indicated that 80 percent of participants will change their 2013 production practices based on the information they received at this event. This change in production practices will impact 134,412 acres. The net economic gain in terms of increased revenues or added savings that would potentially result from changing to new practices would be $1,693,591. The repeat attendees were asked to specify the economic impacts that resulted from attending the 2011 event. These statistics revealed that participants implemented MSU recommendations on an aggregate of 124,750 cropland acres, resulting in a net financial gain of $1,172,650 in 2012.

Christy Sprague, MSU Extension weed specialist, highlighted how one of the new pests, the glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth populations, has spread to more areas of Michigan. Once this weed establishes itself, it will pose a huge economic and agronomic threat to Michigan corn and soybeans.

Other notable contributors were Christina Difonzo (entomology); George Bird (nematology); Martin Chilvers (plant pathology); Kim Cassida (forages); Kurt Steinke (nutrient management); Martin Nagelkirk (wheat management); Allen Krizek (MAEAP); and Mike Staton (soybean on-farm research). Local commodity check-off updates were given by Natalie Rector (corn); Tim Boring (soybean); and Jody Pollok-Newsom (wheat).

Dr. Bob Nielsen, a renowned corn agronomist from Purdue University, gave an insightful presentation on modern corn production. He traced the history of U.S. corn yield increases, spearheaded by the advances in science and technology. For short-term corn yield improvements, his take-home message to participants was that they invest time and hard work on identifying the yield-influencing factors (YIF) that may be specific to each field. He added that an understanding on how YIF’s interact with growth stages and potential yield components of the crop was fundamental to achieving higher yield goals.

Participants who attended this full day session received 4 MDARD, 6.5 CCA and MAEAP Phase 1 credits. They also received the MSU Extension Bulletin E-434 2013 MSU Weed Control Guide for Field Crops and other useful field scouting guides.

If you’re interested in attending the 2013 Integrated Crop and Pest Management Update, frequently check the MSU Extension Events page for further information.

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