Once again, MSU Extension Pondera County will be offering the Master Farmer course in January and February of 2022. This year, the classes will focus on making tight margins wider and maintaining high quality crops when inputs are in short supply.

The classes will be offered in person and online. In person classes will take place at the Moose Lodge in Conrad and will start at 6 p.m. with dinner, and the educational content will start at 6:30 p.m. In person classes will cost $75 and include meals and all supplies. Online classes will cost $20 and include all supplies.

Please register by Jan. 14 by calling 406-271-4054 or email adriane.good@-montana.edu

The course will kick off on Jan. 20 with Dr. Clain Jones, MSU Extension Soil Specialist, speaking about soil fertility. As most producers already know, fertilizer prices have been climbing this year, making soil fertility a pricey subject. Clain will discuss how you can maintain the fertility of your soil with less fertilizer, and some precision agriculture options you could use to help get the perfect amount of fertilizer applied.

On Jan. 27, Dr. Tim Seipel, MSU Extension Cropland Weed Specialist, will discuss integrated pest management of cropland weeds. Another product in short supply lately has been glyphosate, and with its prices climbing, you may be looking for other weed control options. Tim will discuss some of the options available to you, including some of the higher technology options.

Next, on Feb. 3, Dr. Uta McKelvy, MSU Extension Plant Pathologist, will speak on cropland disease management. This year may have been a dry year, but it’s important to be prepared for any diseases that may pop up! Uta will discuss some of the common cropland diseases in the Golden Triangle and how to control them.

Precision agriculture is becoming a hot topic, especially with input prices increasing, however these technologies can have price tags that are just as high.

On Feb. 10, Dr. Justin Vetch, superintendent of Western Triangle Ag Research Center, will discuss some of the low and no cost options available to get more precise in your agriculture.

On Feb. 17, Ken Slezak, grain procurement at CHS, will speak about the world of grain marketing. Marketing your grain successfully is an important step to improving the bottom line of your farm, and Ken will give you the knowledge to do just that.

Rounding out the course on Feb. 24, Dr. George Haynes, MSU Extension Agriculture Economics Specialist, will talk about how you can make more money farming. A lot of farming focusses on the production side, but it’s important for the business side to get some attention too. George will give you the tools to run your farm business successfully, and hopefully help you find a few more dollars in the balance sheets.

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