The MSU Corn & Soybean Research Tour and Barbecue, set for 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, will allow participants to view new corn and soybean hybrid crops produced by MSU researchers and have the chance to win more than $800 in prizes.
In its fifth year, the tour will be introducing some changes.
This is the first year that soybeans have been included in the program for corn hybrid trails, said Mark Hansen, the agricultural extension agent for Ingham Countys MSU Extension.
We have adjusted the show to the daytime, allowing more farmers to tend to their pastures and come to the show.
The daytime format will allow participants to view both the corn and soybean sites and have time to enter contest, which involve guessing which hybrids will mature fastest.
The corn site is located at Jorgensens Farm on Dietz Road in Webberville, and the soybean site is at Wamhoff Farm on Burkley Road in Williamston.
The new hybrids will be tested for their maturity in different kinds of soil. The results will be published in Michigan Farm News on Dec. 3.
Farmers can use the results as a reference for planting their seasonal crops, Hansen said. The first year we did this, only 25 people showed up.
This year, we are expecting 100 participants although anyone is welcome who is interested.
So far, there are 270 soybean and 120 corn hybrid varieties across mid-Michigan.
Michigan grows a lot of corn and soybeans, and the information from our trials is very important to the industry of soil and crops, Hansen said. Especially since the climate of the Great Lakes changes so much.
Keith Dysinger, a research assistant in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department, said there are 25 companies participating in the tour that market corn in Michigan.
There are also seven counties in the state that have soybean hybrids.
To register and get directions for the tour, call the Ingham County Extension Office at (517) 676-7207.