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News from Around Farm World for November 16, 2005
Blueberry production topic of new Michigan State website
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Blueberry growers can get the answers to many of their crop-related questions by visiting a new website developed by researchers at Michigan State University (MSU).

A team of MSU blueberry researchers and Extension specialists developed the website as a one-stop resource on blueberry production and crop management. The site - www.blueberries.msu.edu - includes information on cultivating blueberries, blueberry varieties, insect pests, diseases, nutrition disorders, weeds, pest management, weather and crop scouting.

The site also includes links to other blueberry-related websites.

“The website was created as a comprehensive resource for people interested in blueberry production,” says Annemiek Schilder, MSU assistant professor of plant pathology. “Because Michigan is the largest high bush blueberry-producing state, it seemed logical that MSU would create this site.”

Schilder says the website is useful for anyone who works with blueberries, including growers, nursery owners, researchers, Extension staff members and specialists, teachers, crop consultants, government employees and home gardeners who want to get more information on all aspects of growing blueberries. Development of the website was funded by Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs), Michigan’s plant agriculture initiative at MSU, and the Michigan Blueberry Growers Association.

USDA announces the start of FSA county committee elections
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — John Nidlinger, Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Indiana recently announced the election period for FSA county committees began November 4 and is open through December 5, 2005.

“County committees help administer federal farm programs at the local level. It is vital that FSA committees represent a cross-section of producers in each community,” said Nidlinger.

FSA county committees help ensure FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers. Committees provide input on commodity price support loans and payments, conservation programs, disaster payments for some commodities and other farm disaster assistance.

FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws. Most committees consist of three to five members and may have one or more appointed advisors to further represent the interests of minority and women farmers and ranchers.

Agricultural producers, who participate or cooperate in any FSA program and are of legal voting age, can vote. A person supervising and conducting the farming operations on an entire farm, but not of legal voting age, can also vote.

Ballots were mailed to eligible farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers. Eligible producers should contact their local FSA office if they have any questions. All ballots must be returned to the voter’s FSA office or be post-marked by Dec. 5, 2005.

The candidate receiving the most votes serves a three-year term as the elected county committee member. The person receiving the second most votes serves a three-year term as the first alternate. The candidate receiving the third most votes serves as second alternate for three years.

Producers can learn more about FSA county committees by contacting a local FSA office or online at www.fsa.usda. gov/pas/

Published in the November 16, 2005 issue of Farm World.

11/16/2005