Know MI numbers: Irrigation management workshops for nursery and Christmas tree growers

A hands-on program for growers to learn how to manage their irrigation program effectively and efficiently.

In a perfect world, we would have adequate rainfall throughout the growing season. However, most growers never experienced “the perfect world”situation, so to produce quality plants, you need a plan to deliver additional water to meet the plant’s needs throughout the growing season. Different water delivery methods are used in plant production, hand watering, overhead irrigation systems, traveling boom systems, drip tape and spaghetti hoses. The key is knowing your plant’s water requirements and needs.

So how do you know when it’s time to irrigate? Proper irrigation scheduling and its delivery method for the crop’s needs is a primary key to eliminating the “missed window of opportunity.” The benefits of irrigation scheduling and proper water delivery impact several factors that range from efficiencies to protection of ground and surface water. Well-designed systems aid in reducing nutrient loss from leaching from over application of water;reduce pollution of groundwater or surface water due to runoff and or leaching;and improve efficiencies and energy consumption for pumping machinery.

MSU Extension is sponsoring an in-depth workshop, Irrigation Management WorkshopFor Nursery and Christmas Tree Growers, utilizing recent research results that will assist Christmas tree, field and container nursery growers in improving their irrigation practices by:

  • Providing you skills to determine irrigation systems, distribution uniformity and application rates.
  • Sharing a review of daily water use research for ornamentals and Christmas trees.
  • Learning how to improve irrigation management using tensiometers to measure soil water.
  • Understanding the basic principles of soils and plants that influence water and nutrient management.
  • Learning about interactions between irrigation and fertilization.

Dates and locations

Thursday, June2, 1-4 PM
DutchmanTree Farms, Manton, Mich.

Tuesday, June 7, 9 AM-12 PM
WashtenawCounty

Thursday, June9, 9 AM-12PM
Murray Nursery, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Workshop instructors

Dr. Tom Fernandez, MSU Department of Horticulture
Dr. Bert Cregg, MSU Department of Horticulture
Dr. Pascal Nzokou, MSU Department of Forestry

For more information, contact Jeanne Himmelein at 269-998-8958.

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