Irrigation and drainage considerations in 2018

A breakfast meeting on May 1 in St. Joseph County will focus on tile drainage and why, when and how irrigation may provide value in your operation. The meeting will also be available online.

The Michigan State University Extension field crops team in southwest Michigan is hosting a free 2018 Breakfast Meeting Series developed to address common farm management issues as well as those that may be emerging or are longer term in nature. On May 1, MSU assistant professor and Extension specialist Ehsan Ghane will discuss issues related to tile drainage, water quality and controlled drainage structures. The meeting will take place from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the St. Joseph County MSU Extension office612 E. Main St., Centreville, MI 49032 and is sponsored by Walther Farms in Three Rivers, Michigan.

Ghane will focus on phosphorus loss from farm fields, why it is important and how to manage that loss. Ghane will also discuss considerations for tiling fields including the economics of whole- and partial-field tiling.

Also presenting will be MSU and Purdue Extension irrigation educator Lyndon Kelley. He will address common uses of early-season irrigation, including “watering up” a new seeding, working fertilizer or herbicide into the soil to prevent loss or to loosen soil under crusting conditions. Kelley will also talk about preparing equipment for the new season.

For those not able to attend the meeting in person, a Zoom session (similar to Skype) will be open to the public and accessible from any computer, tablet or smartphone with a stable internet connection. Remote attendees can click on this link to join:, or enter into a web browser. Video and microphones will be turned off for participants, but questions and comments can be sent in via a chat feature. Each session will also be recorded for viewing later by visiting the Agriculture page of the St. Joseph County Extension website.

Future breakfast meetings will follow the same format, and the public is welcome to participate in person or online for each. The series will run until May 15 on Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the St. Joseph County MSU Extension office. Attendees are asked to call the St. Joseph County Extension office at 269-467-5511 or email Eric Anderson at so enough food can be prepared.    




March 27

How to Keep Your Crop Field From Becoming a Wildlife Food Plot

Tim Wilson, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Ken Kesson, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; and James DeDecker, MSU Extension educator

April 10

Early Season Crop Pests

Bruce MacKellar, MSU Extension educator

April 17

Tax Laws and Their Impacts on Farms

Kristiana Coutu, Attorney, Varnum Attorneys at Law

April 24

Managing White Mold in Soybeans

Martin Chilvers, assistant professor of plant pathology, MSU

May 1

Spring Irrigation and Drainage Issues

Ehsan Ghane, assistant professor and Extension specialist, MSU; and Lyndon Kelley, irrigation educator for Purdue and MSU Extension

May 8

Doubling Up: Forages as Cover Crops

Kim Cassida, forage and cover crop specialist, MSU

May 15

Reintroduction of Industrial Hemp into U.S. Agriculture

Marguerite Bolt, master’s student in the Department of Entomology, Purdue University

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