After a cropping year that ended in drought, the Michiana Irrigation Association will offer the latest irrigation information to irrigators, agri-business personnel and farmers at a Dec. 16 workshop.

The Winter Irrigation Workshop will run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery, 105 E. Middlebury St., Shipshewana. Speakers from Purdue Extension, Michigan State Extension, government agencies and industry will cover a wide range of irrigation topics.

"Irrigation of row crops provides some 'insurance' for producing a crop should there be a drought or other moisture stress-related weather problems during the growing season," said Gene Matzat, Purdue Extension agriculture and natural resources educator in La Porte County. "Ultimately, if managed well, irrigation can improve a farmer's bottom line through efficient crop production and resource management. Using irrigation to grow crops can help a farmer have a little more control over those factors that go into producing a successful crop."

Workshop topics and speakers are:

* "Water Use Direction in Indiana" by Mark Basch, Indiana Department of Natural Resources head of Water Rights and Use Section, Division of Water.

* "Proper Irrigation Grounding Safety" by Truman Surbrook, Michigan State professor of bio-systems ag engineering.

* "Irrigation Energy Audits and Potential Grants Available" by Aluel Go, Michigan State Extension bio-systems ag engineering specialist.

* "Regional Groundwater Modeling and High-Capacity Wells" by Todd Feenstra of Tritium.

* "Irrigation Scheduling Basics" by Lyndon Kelley, Purdue and Michigan State Extension irrigation educator.

* "Fertility Management for Irrigated Corn" by Jim Camberato, Purdue Extension soil fertility specialist.

* "Southwest Michigan Water Resources Council Update" by Fred Hennigsen.

Also included will be a brief Michiana Irrigation Association business meeting and election of board members.

Advance registration of $30 per person is required and includes Michiana Irrigation Association dues and lunch. A copy of the brochure and registration form can be downloaded at under "Field Crops."

Workshop organizers have applied for continuing education units for Certified Crop Advisers.

More information is available by calling 269-467-5511 or emailing