Corn is one of the most important crops grown by American farmers. Domestic and global demand for corn continues to rise and new uses continue to be developed. The crop has become an economic driver in the farm economy, employing millions and producing food, fuel and fiber. In addition to the value of corn grain, research scientists have been developing new uses for corn stover as a feedstock for second generation biofuels.
Along with the growing demand for corn grain and stover comes challenges that corn farmers must address to manage the environment so that these long-term food, fuel and fiber needs can be met. If not done properly, corn production practices could have a negative impact on soil, air and water resources. In addition, there is increasing uncertainty about how long-term climate trends are going to impact corn production systems.
To better understand and discuss how we can help deal with these issues, a series of focus groups are being planned. Michigan State University researchers, Michigan State University Extension staff and corn producers will be discussing how we can deal with these issues in the short, mid-and long term to ensure continued crop productivity while also minimizing environmental impact. The format will be part listening and part education focused on climate, nitrogen management, corn stover management and cover crops. From the discussions, information on current and future needs related to corn production will be gathered. This information will help develop research projects and outreach programming as well future granting opportunities.
We would like to invite you to join corn producers for a discussion on sustainable corn production at one of the following locations. All meetings will start at 9 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. Lunch is included.
If you are interested in participating in the Sustainable Corn Production Discussion or would like more information, contact Marilyn Thelen at 989-224-5241. There is a limited number that can attend each location. Registration deadline is March 5, 2014.