January 5, 2015

In This Edition

With the holidays over, meeting season is here!  Following are some of the activities and events the MWP is sponsoring over the next few weeks, and events we’ll attend.

If you have questions or research suggestions, please talk to either Jody Pollok-Newsom, executive director, or a MWP board member.  If your gathering needs a MWP update contact the office and either Jody or a board member can attend to provide some more “Wheat Wisdom.”


MWP Annual Winter Grower Meeting March 11

Make plans now to attend the 2015 Michigan Wheat Program Annual Winter Grower Meeting Wednesday, March 11 at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth.
A block of rooms will be opened on February 11 for those interested in making it a family get-away.  Call the Bavarian Inn Lodge at 1-855-652-7200 and give the Group Name:  Michigan Wheat Farmers to receive the special rate of $99/night (std. room); $109/night (premium); or $159/night (suite).

The day-long meeting on March 11 is packed with information pertinent to wheat production in Michigan.  A series of researchers, private sector food manufacturers, and risk management specialists will make this day more than worth your time.
This year’s program takes on international flair, with the confirmation of renowned Canadian grains specialist Peter Johnson as the keynote speaker. Johnson, the provincial cereal specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, is also treasurer and past-chair of the Ontario Cereal Crop Committee, chair of the Wheat Technical Working Group and co-founder of the Great Lakes Wheat Workers Group.
A highly-sought-after speaker, Johnson will give three different talks on the results of his research work and high-management wheat.
Also confirmed is Jim Palmer, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, who will talk about emerging issues and relevant news on the national wheat scene.  Numerous MWP researchers from Michigan State University will also present on their areas of expertise and the research funded by the MWP.
New information will be shared as the MWP has worked to get changes made by the Risk Management Agency regarding crop insurance and falling numbers.  An overview of the change will be explained and farmers will be shown how they will benefit and what it will mean to their bottom line.
Registration for MWP’s 2015 Winter Grower Meeting is free, and can be found along with the full agenda at  More information on family fun in the area may be found at or .

Great Lakes Crop Summit Jan 28-29

The state check-off programs for wheat, soybeans and corn joined together last year to co-sponsor and present the first Great Lakes Crop Summit (GLCS). The event was an overwhelming success and in fact, registration had to be closed as the event outgrew the capacity of the dining facilities.

For 2015, the three commodity organizations are back with the second annual GLCS, to be held January 28-29 at the much-larger Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant. 

A “farmer led, farmer focused” event, the summit is a one-stop workshop and trade show for Michigan farmers producing wheat, soybeans and corn.  More than 50 exhibitors are expected for the trade show.
This year’s conference includes more than 30 educational break-out sessions on topics from wheat, soybean and corn production to marketing and exporting to sustainability.  Presenters are industry and academic experts from seven Midwest states.
The General Sessions include financial outlooks with nationally-acclaimed presenter Dr. Mike Boehlje, and agricultural climate impacts presented by The Weather Whisperer, Evelyn Browning-Garriss.  Attendees can earn up to 12 RUP credits, 13.5 CCA credits and 1 MAEAP credit.  Also for the first time this year, attendees may take the MDARD exam for Pesticide Applicator certification.
Click here for more information or to register online see the GLCS crop summit link on the home page.  Soaring Eagle Hotel reservations can be made by phoning (888) 732-4537 and providing the group code MC012715.  The special room rate is $109 per night.

MWP sponsors local meetings on changes in Farm Bill

Did you know the 2014 Farm Bill significantly revised or eliminated many parts of the prior Farm Bill?  Keeping up with these changes will help farmers make better business decisions about commodity programs, and farm and risk management for the future.

MSU’s Farm Management Team in cooperation with USDA’s Farm Services Agency will hold several Farm Bill educational sessions around the state over the next several months.  The Michigan Wheat Program is helping sponsor these meetings, along with Greenstone Farm Credit Services, Farm Bureau Crop Insurance, the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan and the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee.

A few of the upcoming meetings include:
  • Tues., Jan. 6 – Ithaca, Caro
  • Weds., Jan. 7 – Coldwater, Frankenmuth, Gladwin
  • Thurs., Jan. 8 – Grand Rapids, Lawrence, Tawas City
  • Fri., Jan. 9 – DeWitt, Peck
  • Mon., Jan. 12 – West Olive
  • Tues., Jan. 13 – Allegan, Fremont, Goodells, Stephenson
  • Weds., Jan. 14 – Escanaba
  • Thurs., Jan. 15 – Benton Harbor, Alpena, Bruce Township, Rogers City
  • Fri., Jan. 16 – Lennon, Petoskey
The meetings are free of charge, but many have limited seating so pre-registration is required.  Please check the schedule to find a meeting near you, as more meetings are still being added.  You can also register online.

Consider IPM Meetings in next few weeks

Again this year, the Michigan Wheat Program along with the state’s corn and soybean check-off programs, is co-sponsoring the MSU Extension Winter Crop Management Update Series with an emphasis on integrated pest management (IPM).

The six regional meetings include presentations on …
  • Weed control, especially horseweed/marestail, Dr. Christy Sprague
  • Managing corn rootworm, Dr. Chris DiFonzo
  • Managing white mold, seed treatment and foliar fungicides, Dr. Martin Chilvers
  • Managing nitrogen inputs on corn, Dr. Kurt Steinke
  • Cover crops and soil quality, Dr. Kim Cassida
  • Wheat outlook and research update, Martin Nagelkirk
Locations for the day-long (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) meetings are:
  • Weds., Jan. 21 – Shifter’s Restaurant, Alma
  • Thurs., Feb. 5 – Mason Technology Center, Mason
  • Fri., Feb. 6 – Sanilac Career Center, Peck
  • Tues., Feb. 17 – Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth
  • Weds., Feb. 18 – Cabela’s, Dundee
  • Thurs., Feb. 19 – VanBuren ISD Conference Center, Lawrence
The registration fee is $20, including lunch, and participants will receive the 2015 Weed Control Guide and other printed material.  RUP and CCA credits will be available pending MDARD and ASSA approval.

You can register online or call the Van Buren MSU Extension Office at (269) 657-8213 for more information.

Raise your GMO IQ at Jan. 15 "Community Meeting"

An interesting, scientifically-balanced presentation on genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) will take place at 7 pm on Thursday, January 15 on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University.

Dr. Cathleen Enright, Executive Vice President for Food & Agriculture, of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, will describe how biotechnology helps heal, fuel and feed the world.  She will discuss how to make informed decisions about GMOs, and provide a better understanding of the role GMOs play in the modern food system.

The event is free of charge and open to the general public.  While there is no GMO wheat being grown in the US, it’s helpful for farmers to be able to explain this concept to their non-farming friends and acquaintances.

And if you think everyone understands GMOs, click on this clip from the Jimmy Kimmel TV show on the subject, filmed at a California farmers’ market earlier this year.

Applications due Feb. 1 for Great Lakes Leadership Academy

The MWP is a co-sponsor of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy (GLLA), which was created to bring together leaders from diverse audiences – notably agriculture – to address critical sustainability issues of the Great Lakes region.  The program is known for leadership training, and developing collaborative relationship building skills.  Tuition for the program is $3,500 including lodging and mails.  Click here for details and registration.

Upcoming winter meetings

MWP will be on-the-go all winter!  Be sure to meet us at...

Jan. 9:  Center for Excellence Results Meeting, Adrian
Jan. 12-14:  MABA Winter Conference, Lansing Center, Lansing
Jan. 13:  Michigan Millers Annual Meeting, Lansing Center, Lansing
Jan. 20:  Bean and Beet Symposium, Horizon Center, Saginaw
Jan 22:  Mich. Farm Bureau Voice of Ag Conference, Kellogg Cntr., East Lansing
Jan. 28-29:  Great Lakes Crop Summit, Soaring Eagle, Mt. Pleasant
March 11:  MWP Winter Grower Meeting, Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth
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