KEVIN YOUNG, DIRECTOR
60822 Creek Road
Niles, MI 49120
269-684-3870
kevin60822@sbcglobal.net


JULY/AUGUST 2018 GRANGE NEWS

Wow where has this year gone!? We are almost half way through it as I sit here on June 20th which means the first day of Summer is tomorrow on the 21st! Crops are in full swing of growing and or producing here in Michigan. We are done with strawberries and rhubarb and asparagus is about done as well. The farmers hopefully by this time have gotten all their field crops in and already spraying for weeds etc. It has been a very wet growing season so far which has caused lots of farmers to get their field crops in late. Farmers that make hay are having troubles getting it made and some haven’t been able to do 1st cutting yet.

It is just amazing on how time is flying right by! Before we know it we will be up in the Kalamazoo area at the West Osthemo Grange Hall for our next State Session. I hope everyone has planted something to show in the new Agriculture Department classes during State Session. We planted pumpkins, winter squash and sunflowers here. I hope they grow. I think something eat my sunflower starts though. Remember that there are new classes in the Ag Department for State Session!!!

​Like many other areas across our Great State, the youth around here are getting ready for the local county fairs. My nephews and niece are working with their market and show goats and market pigs getting them ready for our county fair, Berrien County Youth Fair, which is in August. Right now they are just walking their market goats to get them used to being handled and bracing them for when the judge goes to check the muscle on their rumps and backs. They look really good right now and we still have just under two months before Fair. Good luck to all that have family and friends that exhibit at the county fairs!
I haven’t been able to keep up with all the current events going on in our Nation but we have to watch what is going on with the Farm Bill. Please let your State Senators know how important the right Farm Bill is to not just our State Agriculture but our Nation and World.

​Our next Myth in Agriculture is A pesticide is a pesticide is a pesticide. Pesticide is a generic term for a range of compounds. Different classes target certain types of pests: herbicides for weeds, fungicides for fungi, insecticides for insects, rodenticides for rodents. Some kill very specifically. For example, certain herbicides target only broad-leafed plants, but not grasses. Others, such as certain insecticides that can also harm larger animals at high doses, cross categories.

​Pesticides fight bugs and weeds in organic and conventional fields. The difference is that organic pesticides cannot be synthesized artificially. This does not necessarily mean they are less toxic. Toxicity depends on the specific compound and a person’s exposure to that compound. Some pesticides, especially older ones, are toxic at relatively low levels. Others are safe even at very high doses. Pesticides also differ in how quickly they break down in the environment.

​Different regulations apply to different pesticides. Permits are required to purchase some agricultural chemicals, and many farmers call on crop consultants to diagnose problems in a field and prescribe treatment.

​Well I have rambled on enough for this article. I hope the rest of your Summer is good and not too hot and not too wet or dry! See you all soon!

AGRICULTURE
MAY/JUNE 2018 GRANGE NEWS

I want to know who made Mother Nature so mad that my area of the state is seeing temperatures in the 30s and 40s in the middle of April. As you go north, the weather conditions got worse from north of Kalamazoo to some pretty heavy wet snow fall in the Torch Lake area. I leave on the 22nd for Grand Traverse Resort and will likely see snow when I get there. I did notice that things are starting to really green up this Spring which of course means the grass will need to be mowed when it warms up again. Fresh asparagus will start to be picked in my area of the State as well.

How many of you have planted anything in your gardens yet? Things that could have been planted by know would be seed potatoes, onion sets, cold crops (cabbages, etc) and I even think carrots but not sure so please check before you plant them! When planning your garden spots, keep in mind the new Ag Classes that you can enter at this year’s Annual State Grange Session. Each class is open to Junior members on up to Subordinate members. Please check the Program Booklet for more details. Be sure to check out the Family Activities section as they put in a neat class in their Department having to do with Antique Agriculture items.

​We are running behind at getting things done around my little farm this spring due to the colder than normal April weather. I have yet to get the chicken coop cleaned but that is because we need to finish sealing up the outside run from predators before I let the hens out in it. The pigs and market goats for my nephews and niece will be coming to the farm around the 27th and 28th of this morning and there is still things to prepare before they can come to the farm.

​Please be mindful that this is the time that the country roads and some State Highways will have slow moving farm vehicles on them. If it wasn’t for those farmers and their employees we wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to farmers’ markets or the grocery stores to get the needed foods to feed our families. Please give those big vehicles and tractors as much room as you can without causing problems for yourself or others.

​This article’s Myth about Farming is Farming is Traditional and Low Tech. Self-driving cars are still out of reach for consumers, but tractors have been driving themselves around farms for years. And driving tractors isn’t the only role GPS plays on a farm. Farmers collect geospatial data to monitor variations across a field in soil type, water and nutrient use, temperature, crop yield and more. The average farmer on farmer’s Business Network, a social media-like platform for farm analytics, collects about four million data points every year. Artificial intelligence helps sort through all this data and maximize performance within a field down to the square meter.

​With all this technology going into modern farms, the demand for skilled workers in the agriculture sector is rising. In 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture reported that jobs in food and agriculture outnumber degrees granted in those fields nearly two to one. Of those job opportunities, 27 percent are in science, technology, engineering or math.

Well that is it for now. Good luck with your garden planning and happy growing until later!