Handy farming Internet resources for the 2015 growing season

Field crop farmers can get ahead with these Michigan State University Extension online resources for a successful growing season.

Having the right tools for the job is essential for success. Following are some of the tools every farmer should have in their toolbox going into the 2015 growing season. Save these links as favorites and you will have resources at your fingertips!

Save the link to Michigan State University Extension to visit daily for updates on field crops in Michigan during the growing season or sign up for MSU Extension News and timely articles will be emailed to you.

For greater yield in the field, MSU Soil Fertility Research is the go-to place for science-based research and Extension information that improves crop production, increases the ecological efficiency and incorporates progressive nutrient management strategies for production agricultural systems. This site is also home for the MSU Fertilizer Recommendations, used when soil tests are conducted by commercial labs. It is also home to the Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator, used to fine-tune nitrogen applications. “MSU Nutrient Recommendations for Field Crops in Michigan” (E-2904), a popular MSU Extension bulletin, is also available online.

MSU Weed Science has a webinar by weed scientist Christy Sprague highlighting the 2015 weed management challenges. In addition, it is your source for the online “2015 Weed Control Guide for Field Crops.” Keeping resistant weeds at bay has been a priority for researchers and farmers alike. Take Action on Weeds has information and resources on herbicide-resistance management. You will find the Site of Action Chart as well as Site of Action Lookup Tool that helps you to quickly identify the site of action of popular herbicide brands. The Site of Action Lookup Tool can also be saved on your mobile devise for easy access.

MSU Field Crops Entomology has the most current information on managing common pest in field crops. One of the recent concerns is corn rootworm resistance to Bt. Learn about the causes, identification and management of this pest and best management practices to prevent resistance. The Handy Bt Trait Table has been updated and is easily accessed at this site.

Looking for information on managing diseases in field crops? Visit the Field Crop Pathology Extension page. “Fungicides for Field Crops,” an overview of the current knowledge of fungicides and their use on field crops, can be purchased for just $19 or is available online to Plant Management Network (PMN) subscribers.

If a weed, disease or insect needs to be identified, send a picture or the sample to MSU Diagnostic Services. A couple of good, clear pictures may be all you need, just e-mail them to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) along with details about the sample (crop history, etc.). If the sample can be identified from that, you are all set. If not, you can still submit the sample to the lab for identification.

MSU Enviro-weather has weather-based pest, natural resources and production management tools. You will find historic weather information as well as information to make decisions for the 2015 crop.

Looking for ways to easily pull historic weather data into the decision process? Visit the Decision Dashboard. Here you will find a suite of decision tools based on over 30 years of local weather data. AgClimate View is a convenient way to access customized historical climate and crop yield data in your area. Corn growing degree days (GDD) will track real-time and historical GDD accumulations, assess spring and fall frost risk and guide decisions related to planting, harvest and seed selection. These are just a few of the tools available. Visit the site to see more.

MSU provides a wide array of resources to fill you your 2015 toolbox. Download apps, save links and have a safe and productive 2015 growing season.

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