Irrigation decisions the focus of post-drought workshop

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The Michiana Irrigation Association will host a one-day workshop to help farmers make irrigation decisions following the worst drought in decades.

The Winter Irrigation workshop will be Dec. 14 from 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 and Indiana and Michigan government agencies will focus their presentations on drought, water rights, crop yields and more.

Presentations and speakers are:

  • “Drought 2012 and the Climate” by Jeff Andresen, associate professor of geography at Michigan State University.
  • “Overview of Water Use Data and 2012 Water Right Conflicts” by Mark Basch, head of the Water Rights and Use Section of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.
  • “Indiana’s New Water Use Online Reporting” by Monique Riggs, environmental scientist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water.
  • “Michigan’s New Water Use Online Reporting” by Abby Eaton, environmental resource specialist for the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
  • “Great Lakes Compact Permitting Rule” by Basch and Riggs.
  • “Update on Michigan Southwest Michigan Resource Council,” by Fred Henningsen, district agriculture and irrigation agent emeritus, Michigan State University.
  • “Groundwater Sustainability in St. Joseph County, Michigan” by Todd Feenstra of Tritium.
  • “Finding Large Capacity Water Supplies for Irrigation” by Mike Chapman, Peerless Midwest Hydrologist.
  • “Maximizing Corn Yield with Irrigation” by Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist.
  • “Michigan Tools for Finding Large Capacity Water Withdrawals for Irrigation” Steve Miller, MSU Biosystems engineering

Advance registration is required, but the $30 fee is payable at the door. The fee includes Michiana Irrigation Association dues and lunch. More information and a registration form are available at

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