Michigan Wheat Program opens registration for February 22 Annual Winter Grower Meeting

Lansing, Mich.  (January 30, 2023) – On-line and phone-in registration is now open for the Michigan Wheat Program’s 11th Annual Winter Grower Meeting!  The event will be held from 8:15 a.m. to
3:30 p.m. at the MSU Saginaw Valley Research & Extension Center in Frankenmuth.

The Annual Winter Grower Meeting opens at 8:15 a.m. with registration check-in, a continental breakfast and an opportunity to visit industry exhibits. Presentations begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m.  An underlying theme of the 2023 meeting is sharing production information with growers to keep them on the cutting edge!

The day’s keynote presenter is Dr. Jeff Andresen, professor of meteorology/climatology in MSU’s Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences.  He also serves as Michigan’s state climatologist. The primary focus of Andresen’s research at Michigan State has been studying the influence of weather and climate on agriculture, especially within Michigan and the Great Lakes Region.

“As we hear more and more about climate change and see the large swings in the weather, you have to wonder what does it mean for farmers,” said Jody Pollok-Newsom, executive director of the Michigan Wheat Program. “I’ve heard Jeff speak many times and he has a very good understanding of climate impacts on Michigan agriculture, and the ability to share what it means to the Great Lakes growers.”

The Winter Meeting will include a recap of the first full year of the Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN), a first-in-North America wheat improvement program for growers.  Michigan and Ontario joined forces to launch Great Lakes YEN in Summer 2021, modeling on the United Kingdom YEN.  Nearly 100 US and Canadian wheat growers participated in the first year.

MSU wheat specialist Dennis Pennington will share YEN insights and moderate a grower panel of first-year participants sharing their thoughts.

The 2023 Winter Annual Meeting is all about the potential of Great Lakes wheat production, with an agenda heavy on production topics.  Growers will hear from MSU wheat breeder, Dr. Eric Olson to catch up on the latest new red and white winter wheat variety releases from MSU; Dr. Manni Singh, MSU agronomist on best planting methods to get wheat started right in the fall; and an update on the MI Wheat Program.  Awards will be given for the Wheat Yield Contest winners along with recognition of MAEAP certified farms. Credits will be available for both RUP and CCA.

“We’re sticking with the February meeting time, which has worked well for growers and researchers, alike,” said Jeff Krohn, chairman of the Michigan Wheat Program and an Owendale wheat farmer.  “The recap of the first year of YEN and the presentations on new varieties entering the marketplace and planting are important to add more tools to our toolbox for improving wheat yield and quality which are very important to wheat growers looking to get more out of their wheat crop.”

Annual Meeting Agenda

8:15 a.m. – 9 a.m.          Registration, Continental Breakfast and Industry Displays

9 a.m.                           Welcome and Introductions, Jeff Krohn, Michigan Wheat Program Chairman

9:10 a.m.                      Wacky Weather and What it Means for Wheat, Dr. Jeff Andresen, State Climatologist

10:15 a.m.                    BREAK – Industry Displays

10:45 a.m.                    Announcement of New Varieties to be Released, Dr. Eric Olson, MSU Wheat Breeder

11:40 a.m.                    2022 Michigan Wheat Yield Contest, Dennis Pennington, MSU Wheat Specialist

12 noon                        Industry Displays and Lunch

1 p.m.                           The First Year of the Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network, Pennington

1:30 p.m.                      Grower Roundtable Discussion, Pennington – Moderator

2 p.m.                           MI Wheat Program Update, Jody Pollok-Newsom, MI Wheat Program Executive Director

2:20 p.m.                      New Production Research for Planting, Dr. Manni Singh, MSU Agronomist

3 p.m.                           Production Thoughts, Reminders as You Hit the Field in 2023, Pennington

3:30 p.m.                      Adjourn, Jeff Krohn, Michigan Wheat Program Chairman

Register now at miwheat.org midway down the home page under “Action Needed: Sign Up for These Activities”. Meeting attendance is free to wheat growers and stakeholders, but pre-registration is requested to ensure adequate food, seating and handout materials. Growers may also register by phone by calling:  1-888-WHEAT01 (888-943-2801).

Vendors wishing to join the trade show should email Michigan Wheat Program executive director Jody Pollok-Newsom at jody@miwheat.org or call 1-888-943-2801 as soon as possible as space is available on a first come, first serve basis.

The Michigan Wheat Program is funded by nearly 8,000 farmers who grow wheat in 50 of Michigan’s
83 counties. The Michigan Wheat Program board seeks to promote the state’s wheat industry by funding and supporting the strategic priorities of wheat farmers working with input suppliers, seed producers, millers, end users and consumers.  Research on wheat production practices and grower education has been a continued focus for the organization.