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Ag and Extension Briefs

Cottage Food Producer Food Safety Training is Feb. 26 in Marshall

Do you make and sell baked goods, home-canned pickles, salsa, jam and jellies? Are you a cottage food producer? If you are, attend the Cottage Food Producer Food Safety Training from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the SW WC Service Cooperative, Marshall.

This advanced safe food handling course focuses on aspects of cottage food products including baked, confectionery, dried, fruit preserves and, acid and acidified fruit and vegetables. You will learn how to produce, package and label a safe food product. 

Wonder if your product tests as an allowable non-potentially hazardous food? Bring it along to the cottage food class and have it tested. 

If you sell more than $5,000 annually, this workshop meets the training requirement to register as a Minnesota cottage food producer. Registration materials available at  http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/courses/cottage-foods/. For more information contact, Karla at 507-337-2808 or  engel114@umn.edu.

Dairy Revenue Protection vs. New Farm Bill workshop

Dairy producers, ag lenders, and anyone interested in learning about the new Farm Bill’s Dairy Margin Coverage program should make plans to attend a short workshop in Pipestone from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at the Pipestone Minnesota West campus, Room 127.

This two-hour workshop will compare the new Farm Bill’s Dairy Margin Coverage and Farm Bureau’s Dairy Revenue Protection program and how they compare to the old Margin Protection Program. Extension Educators will use spreadsheets and other tools to analyze the differences between the programs. The new Farm Bureau’s Dairy Revenue Protection program, which works similar to a crop insurance product that provided quarterly coverage, will also be discussed. Prices for the different coverage levels and the pounds of coverage will be examined, and regional Extension educators will be available to help determine which program is best for your dairy.

The pros and cons of each program will be highlighted. Knowing your cost of production is important, which is why tools to help calculate that cost will be shown. Nathan Hulinsky, Extension educator explains, “With the current state of milk prices and the farm economy, maintaining profits is tricky. There are tools out there to help dairy farmers set a floor for their milk price, we want to highlight them.”

There is no cost to attend this program, but an RSVP is appreciated. Contact the Pipestone County Extension Office at 507-825-1190 if you are planning to attend or have any questions regarding the program.

Small Grain Winter workshop offered in Slayton

University of Minnesota Extension is offering six Small Grain Winter Workshops across central and southern Minnesota in February to address small grain production.

Row crop farming brings busy spring and fall workloads. There are also pests common to row crops, including herbicide resistant weeds, soybean cyst nematodes, soybean aphid, and other insect and disease pests becoming more problematic across Minnesota. Small grain added to a rotation offers the opportunity to diversity cropping systems in central and southern Minnesota to manage these challenges.  This program is designed to help farmers determine if small grains can work on their farm and in their rotation. This program will provide the tools needed to make small grains a successful crop in their operation, including cutting-edge research on production agronomics, variety selection, disease identification, fungicide use, fertility, quality, equipment, and economics. Time will be set aside for open forum to discuss related topics and on-farm experiences.

Area workshops are Thursday, Feb. 21 — Slayton, Murray County 4H-Building, Event Hall, 12:30-4 p.m. (Contact: Melissa Runck at 507-836-6927). The “Strategic Farming — Maximizing Return on Investment” workshop will precede the small grains program from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and includes lunch. For details and to register for the Strategic Farming program visit: https://z.umn.edu/strategic-farming

Presenters will include Jochum Wiersma, University of Minnesota Extension Small Grain specialist and Jared Goplen, University of Minnesota Extension Crops educator.

Lunch is included. Registration is free, and is strongly encouraged to assist with meal planning. Register by visiting https://z.umn.edu/PPAT-and-Small-Grains or contact Jared Goplen at 320-589-1711 x2128 or gople007@umn.edu for more information.

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