Farmers work long hours and spend much of their time outdoors, on the road and away from computers or offices. But thanks to a new service from Soybean 2010, they can access crop and pest management information anytime, anywhere by calling a new toll-free soybean hotline, 888-201-9301.

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension specialists will record updated messages about insects, diseases, weeds, agronomic information, soybean cyst nematodes and the Michigan Automated Weather Network. Callers can listen to multiple topics without redialing and can call as often as needed.

Messages will be updated as often as needed to provide Michigan soybean growers with the most up-to-date information for improving soybean yields and farm profitability. Topics will be added and updated under the main subject areas as needed from May through August.

“We won’t be recording new information once a week if a situation is changing on a daily basis,” says Mike Staton, MSU Extension educator and Soybean 2010 coordinator. “We already expect that soybean aphids may reach damaging population levels this season, so we plan to update the insect information on the hotline frequently from late June through mid-August with the latest scouting reports and control recommendations.”

The information will be specific to Michigan conditions but will include region-specific recommendations when warranted.

For more information about improving Michigan’s soybean crop, visit the Soybean 2010 Web page at http://web1.msue.msu.edu/soybean2010/. Soybean 2010 was developed to help Michigan growers increase soybean yields and farm profitability by 2010. Funding is provided by MSU Extension; Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs), the plant industry initiative at MSU; and the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee.