U.P. agriculture takes center stage at Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center Field Day

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Visitors to last year’s UPREC Field Day learn about the latest crop variety trials conducted at the center.  (view larger image)

CHATHAM, Mich. – The ongoing work of researchers to develop agricultural technologies and practices suited for the unique climate of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will be the focus of the Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center (UPREC) Field Day July 25.

Visitors will hear from Michigan State University (MSU) AgBioResearch and Extension researchers as they discuss projects taking place at UPREC’s North and South Farm sites, ranging from hoophouses and other season-extension technologies, rainfall simulators, and variety trials for both malting barley and forage crops.

The morning sessions, taking place at the North Farm, will focus on UPREC’s Farm Incubator program, a new initiative offering training and education programs for U.P. farmers.

“Attendees can expect to learn about the research and education opportunities at the North Farm that are utilizing season-extension technologies to train U.P. farmers to support the local food system,” Ashley McFarland, UPREC center coordinator, said.

Jason Rowntree, assistant professor in the MSU Department of Animal Science, will discuss new beef cattle research projects taking place at UPREC during the lunch period. Rowntree works to develop low-cost, low-input beef production systems for the upper Great Lakes region, including the Upper Peninsula.

“First we will provide early information on our grass finishing program. This includes animal performance, carcass merit and new steps moving forward,” Rowntree said. “Secondly, we will provide information on overall cow-calf performance and discuss new management practices. Finally, we will discuss the overall systems trial and how we envision using grazing to improve other aspects of the center’s agricultural production.”

After lunch, the field day will shift to the South Farm, where sessions will focus on UPREC’s integrated systems project, a rainfall simulator demonstration and variety trials.

“The integrated systems project is seeking to improve understanding of the interactions between grazing and cropping systems on soil health and on-farm productivity,” McFarland said.

Additional information on the event, including the registration form, can be found online at http://events.anr.msu.edu/UPRECFieldDay15. Registration is free and will remain open until the day of the event.

The center is located at E3774 University Drive in Chatham. For more information, visit http://www.agbioresearch.msu.edu/centers/uprc or call the center at 906-439-5114.

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