Officials with MSU Extension held an online seminar this past week in an effort to assist farmers affected by the state’s recent severe weather.
Last Friday, farmers across the state could tune into an online webinar hosted by MSU Extension officials that explored options for farmers dealing with this spring’s heavy rains, said David Schweikhardt, a professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics. Schweikhardt was involved in the planning of the webinar.
Schweikhardt said the presentation focused on informing farmers about the consequences of shortened growing and planting cycles that often accompany wet spring weather as well as specific details related to changes in crop insurance.
This year’s wet weather has led to minimal crop planting, which affects harvests later in the year, Schweikhardt said.
“The purpose of the webinar … is to help farmers think through the basic decision points here,” he said. “When you’re looking at making a decision at this point in the year, you have to look at the possible (crop) yield loss. You also have to look at what the market price is doing right now.”
Dennis Stein, a farm management educator with MSU Extension, said the webinar was well-received among farmers.
“It was very successful. … We did reach a lot of agribusiness folks,” he said.
Stein said officials raised awareness about the seminar using radio, television and the department’s website. In all, about 59 farmers watched the webinar.
The department previously held webinars related to different agricultural topics, said Tom Coon, MSU Extension director. Coon said the department plans to continue the practice in the future as opportunities arise.
“It’s part of our mission — that part is pretty simple,” he said.
In addition to the webinar, farmers also had the opportunity to attend two different in-person seminars, one in Goodells, Mich., and another at MSU Extension offices in Lapeer, Mich.
Information about the number of farmers who attended both of those events was not readily available Monday night.
History senior Cary Tignanelli said he supports the department’s efforts to reach out to farmers across the state.
“The university was founded for agriculture, and we are one of the leading universities in agriculture,” he said. “I think it’s good for the university to help farmers deal with such things, especially if they have the resources.”
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