When it comes to weather, 2011 has not been kind to Michigan farmers. Experts say the heavy spring rains that delayed planting, the recent heat wave and high feed prices will have a long-lasting effect. That's why Michigan State University Extension educators and specialists have pulled together to give livestock and crop farmers quick access to key information that can help them deal with new challenges.
"When you plant late, everything else is affected," explains Roger Betz, MSU senior Extension educator, who focuses on farm business management. "We are working to make sure we offer science-based, practical and timely information for farmers struggling with late-planting effects, feed shortages, high feed costs and harvest issues."
The information will be aggregated on MSU Extension News for Agriculture (www.news.msue.msu.edu), an online tool that pools information on numerous agricultural topics into one easy-to-use website. Since the site was launched in March 2011, more than 100,000 visitors have accessed more than 1,000 articles, worksheets and fact sheets written by nearly 160 MSU Extension educators and scientists.
Betz and a team of about 20 educators and specialists are contributing information that specifically addresses solutions to the challenges put forth by the 2011 weather conditions. That information is indexed under "Late planting issues, high feed cost issues," which can be found in the left-hand navigation on the traditional website and on the landing page of the mobile version of the same site.
"MSUE News for Ag is quickly becoming farmers' go-to source for timely, relevant information," said Wendy Powers, director of agriculture and agribusiness for MSU Extension. "By posting information there, educators are able to extend their reach beyond a small geographic area to wherever their expertise is needed through the state."
To learn more, visit news.msue.msu.edu.