Michigan State University's Enviro-weather stations keep on working to provide Michigan's growers with up-to-date information they can use in their crop management plans 24 hours a day.
Michigan’s Enviro-weather stations looking for support
Managing crops while dealing with the elements keeps growers on their toes all growing season. Whether it’s raining, snowing, hot or cold, Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) Enviro-weather stations keep on working to provide Michigan’s growers with up-to-date information they can use in their crop management plans 24 hours a day.
There are many sources of weather information, but Enviro-weather takes weather many steps beyond precipitation and storm forecasts — it is specifically geared to assist growers in making timely crop management decisions that can affect crop production throughout the season. Enviro-weather provides growers with pest and crop management models and irrigation schedules, alerts them to specific pest and disease problems, explains how to deal with untimely frost and provides links to articles from MSU Extension specialists on timely crop information, pest identification and more.
Since its inception in 2005, the Enviro-weather station network has grown to 64 weather stations around the state. Now the Enviro-weather project is facing funding cuts and is looking for financial support to continue providing its services.
“Enviro-weather information is useful for most every crop grown in the state,” Beth Bishop, MSU Enviro-weather coordinator, says. “We’ve been adding features and updated the website, and continue to look for ways to improve our services for growers.
“Unfortunately, because of state funding cuts that have affected the university as well, we are also facing cuts in funding,” she notes. “We are looking to our many users for support to keep generating the data that fuels growers’ decisions.”
There are numerous, tax-deductible options for anyone wanting to contribute, according to Bishop.
“Maintenance of a weather station is about $1,200 per year,” she says. “Station sponsors are acknowledged for their support on a plaque at the station and on the Enviro-weather website.”
Individual donations are always helpful in keeping the program going, she says.
Businesses or organizations may want to consider sponsoring a page on the Enviro-weather website as an option. Each sponsored page will feature the business or organization’s logo and link to its website.
MSU’s safe and secure online system makes it easy to contribute. Go to www.givingto.msu.edu, and select “Enviro-weather fund,” or go to http://www.enviroweather.msu.edu/support.php. Checks payable to Michigan State University and designated for the Enviro-weather fund can be sent to: University Development – MSU, 300 Spartan Way, E. Lansing, MI 48824-1005.