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Irrigators to Meet Dec. 14 in Shipshe

Published: Friday, November 30, 2018

For over 30 years the Michiana Irrigation Assn. has led the charge for Irrigation education and research for Indiana and Michigan irrigated ag industries.

Within a two-hour drive of the Indiana Toll Road exit near Middlebury are over 680,000 acres of irrigated cropland in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. When you get close to the area, locals refer to it as Michiana, thus the name Michiana Irrigation Assn.

For over 30 years, this group has offered an irrigation educational program as part of their annual meeting. The 2018 annual meeting will be held Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Blue Gate Garden Inn in Shipshewana.

Like previous years, the workshop agenda has updates on Indiana and Michigan water policy issues and legislative efforts affecting the availability and use of irrigation water. Updates will be given on irrigation water use impacts on the area's natural resources and on producer led efforts to monitor groundwater levels in irrigated areas. The importance of network security for managing irrigation equipment and data will be addressed.

More traditional irrigation topics this year include irrigation scheduling for wheat and grain sorghum and an economic comparison of irrigation energy sources and pumping equipment.

Michael Langemeier, Purdue University ag economist, will provide a commodity market outlook and income and expense projections that producers may be facing for the next few years. Representatives from companies that contract with growers to raise processing tomatoes, seed corn and potatoes will update the group on the future of irrigated production for these respective crops. A quick look at tar spot, a new disease of concern for irrigated corn, by Bruce MacKellar, MSU Extension educator for field crops, will end the day.

Certified crop advisers can get 5 CEUs, including 4 CEUs for Soil and Water Management. There will be no PARP credit available for Indiana private applicators. Michigan applicators may earn 1 RUP credit. Indiana commercial applicator CCHs have been approved.

All producers and irrigation industry professionals who register for the meeting become an association member. Then during the short business meeting just before lunch, they are eligible to vote for board members of the Michiana Irrigation Assn.

Reservations are required; registration for the workshop is $35, which includes MIA dues and lunch. Please send completed registration form by mail with check made payable to Michiana Irrigation Assn. to MSU Extension, Attn: MIA Meeting, 612 E Main St., Centreville, MI 49032, or register by calling MSU Extension at 269/467-5511. Workshop agenda with registration form is available at

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