Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Fruit Production
Cover crop strategies workshop at MSU


May 26, 2008
By Michigan State University

Topics

May 21, 2008, East Lansing, Mich.
– As the costs of fertilizers and other inputs rise, so does the use of
cover crops in all agricultural systems.

May 21, 2008, East Lansing, Mich. – As the costs of fertilizers and other inputs rise, so does the use of cover crops in all agricultural systems.

To help vegetable growers explore options for using cover crops to build soil quality and recycle nitrogen, the Michigan State University (MSU) vegetable team is hosting a workshop June 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the MSU W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) near Hickory Corners, Mich.

Advertisment

“Cover Cropping in Vegetable Systems – An Essential Tool for Sustainable and Organic Farmers” will provide growers, agribusiness representatives, extension educators and agency staff members with an opportunity to learn about cover crop systems, hear practical advice from researchers and hear about their latest findings.

A wide variety of cover crops can provide a sustainable foundation for organic production of field crops or vegetables and fit into varying time frames.
          
Speakers include Anne Verhallen, soil management specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs , and Dr. George Abawi, professor of plant pathology and international agriculture at the Cornell University Agriculture Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.

Verhallen will discuss her work to investigate opportunities afforded by cover crops in vegetable systems and their ability to contribute to soil quality. Dr. Abawi will discuss how cover crops affect crop health, including how to use cover crops to control soil-borne pathogens such as nematodes and root rots, and how to incorporate cover crops in any farm system.
          
The registration fee is $25 before June 6 and $40 after that date. Registration includes educational sessions, lunch, a copy of “Managing Cover Crops Profitably” and a tour of the cover crop research program plots at the Kellogg Biological Station.
          
Registration information and an agenda can be found online at http://www.michiganorganic.msu.edu . People may also call the Oceana County MSU Extension office at 231-873-2129 or e-mail walicki@msu.edu .