Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Environmental and Economic Needs), Michigan’s plant agriculture initiative at Michigan State University (MSU), recently awarded grants for 50 new research projects for fiscal year 2007. Almost $2.5 million was available in Project GREEEN grant money this funding cycle, of which nearly $1.5 million was appropriated to new projects.
A total of 72 new project proposals requesting approximately $4.5 million were received for consideration in this year’s selection process. Forty continuation proposals seeking $1 million in available funds were received for projects that started in 2005 or 2006. All funded projects target priority issues affecting Michigan’s plant agriculture industries.
Research projects were funded in the categories of basic research, applied research and extension/education/demonstration. Research topics include inventing new value-added materials from ethanol byproducts to minimize the amount dumped into landfills, creating safe and cost-effective solutions or renovating athletic fields for budget-strapped school districts, and developing onsite Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program demonstrations for greenhouse growers.
A complete listing of 2007 newly funded and continuing Project GREEEN research projects can be found at www.msu.edu .
Project GREEEN also has recently announced it is sponsoring a spray applicator workshop to take place June 14, 2007, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station. Small-acreage producers interested in making sure they are applying sprays according to label rates and achieving optimum spray coverage from their equipment are encouraged to attend the workshop entitled, “Sprayer Application Technology for Small-Acreage Producers.” The workshop is geared to anyone who uses spray equipment for small areas (organic or non organic), including nursery operators, greenhouse growers, and fruit and vegetable producers.
John Grande, director of the Snyder Research and Extension Farm, Rutgers University and New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, will be the featured speaker. Sessions will focus on various backpack sprayer designs, adaptations and calibrations. Participants will get hands-on experience working with various sprayers, viewing pressure regulation demonstrations, assessing nozzle types and accessories, and learning how to calibrate various types of sprayers. Four types of sprayers will be demonstrated: gas engine air-assisted mist blower, gas engine hydraulic sprayer, hand-operated diaphragm pump and hand-operated internal piston pump sprayer.
To register, contact Roberta Dow, MSU extension water quality educator, at firstname.lastname@example.org  or (231) 922-4858.