Growers previously receiving Crop Advisory Team Alerts now have access to the integrated pest management (IPM) information they are used to, plus much more, through a new website developed by Michigan State University (MSU) Extension. CAT Alerts have been published for more than 25 years as a way to share unbiased, science-based recommendations to farmers involved in any aspect of plant agriculture, including the landscape and nursery industry. The site, MSU Extension News for Agriculture, was developed based on feedback from Michigan farmers and commodity groups indicating an interest in more CAT-like information for other areas beyond plant agriculture. It features timely articles about multiple subjects, including crop production and IPM.
"We were publishing in silos," says CAT Alerts editor Joy Landis. "Previously a farmer who grows fruits and vegetables for their own farm market would need to go to various websites to catch all the relevant information from MSU Extension. Now, all the information they need is in one website, available by clicking through links to different areas. It made sense to bring the IPM information from CAT Alerts into this new site where all agricultural production and business information is featured."
MSU Extension News for Agriculture features new articles daily, highlighting the most relevant, up-to-date information and research from MSU in one convenient location, including articles that would have been distributed through CAT Alerts previously. Time-sensitive articles, like those from CAT Alerts, are labeled as a "Hot Topic" in red text to ensure that growers are aware of priority issues.
Landis encourages CAT Alert readers to visit the new site and investigate the various plant and animal agriculture sections to become familiar with the depth of information available and the organization of the website. She also notes that archives of CAT Alerts from the last five years will be added to the MSU Extension News for Agriculture website throughout the summer and will be accessible through the search engine feature.
"We know our CAT readers appreciated the way our information was tailored for the current season and delivered promptly," says Landis. "We are committed to continuing that service through the articles posted at the new site."
MSU Extension News for Agriculture can be found at www.news.msue.msu.edu and is designed with functionality for both smart phones and other mobile devices. For more information about the website, contact Landis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Beth Stuever at email@example.com.