Farmers always hope for the early, gradual start to spring that brings high yields for field crops, and this year they just might their wish.
Many people in Michigan are happy to see the return of warmer weather, especially maple syrup producers.
The cold weather isn’t fun for anyone but for Michigan’s small fruit crops it can be especially dangerous.
Representatives from across a seven-county region, including Genesee, Shiawassee and Lapeer, are meeting Feb. 19 to share new agribusiness ideas.
Region officials said the time is now to share the advantages of agribusiness with potential key partners, such as policy makers and business executives.
The USDA is set to provide 1.2 billion dollars over five years to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program in order to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in the Great Lakes basin.
If you own cattle in northern Michigan, you may be getting some mail from the state about two confirmed cases of bovine tuberculosis.
Michigan agricultural officials met, this week, to discuss the future of trade with Cuba.
The “Sprout Lab” is an entrepreneurship program focused on identifying agricultural innovators, and engaging them in the state’s entrepreneur ecosystem. Continue reading
According to MSU Extension Services, farmers could save 13% on operational costs this year compared to last, based on current gas prices.
Jerry Lindquist is with the MSU Extension Services.
He said, “Gas prices will be a benefit the longer they stay down as we approach the planting season. It will reduce the price of operations with running of equipment, especially at the tillage time, planting time, and then if it should last into the fall, through the harvest season as well.”
Lindquist said savings will be a particular benefit for producers in northern Michigan, where corn and soybeans are predicted to be less profitable this year, due to low commodity prices.
Fruit growers are taking some time in the middle of a cold, Michigan winter to network and talk grapes, apples and cherries.
Officials said the 2015 Northwest Orchard and Vineyard Show is an opportunity for growers to learn new techniques for better production.
They said 2014 was a dynamic year for Michigan’s commercial fruit growers because of last year’s harsh winter. And grapes in particular were impacted. Continue reading
CMU is partnering with a rural school to help students with STEM- that’s science, technology engineering and math.
And the partnership has an agricultural twist.
Officials at CMU are launching the partnership this month between student-teachers, and classroom teachers in St. Johns-an agricultural community. Continue reading
The holiday season is in full swing, and for many people that means it’s time to bring a bit of the outdoors into the living room. But what can you do with your x-mas tree once the season’s over?
Marsha Gray, the Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association said the answer is simple: Recycle!
“I would say probably the most common option in Michigan would be to chip those trees into mulch. But you’ll also see Christmas trees that get recycled and reused in other ways. You’ll see Christmas trees piled and dumped along the shore line. It helps to prevent beach erosion. I also know some people who have lakes where they’ll sink Christmas trees because they create a great habitat for fish.”
She said one town in Minnesota takes recycling their trees to the extreme.
“St. Paul, Minnesota heats and powers most of their downtown grid with waste wood. Trimmings, clippings, palettes, all sorts of things are put into this crazy massive grinder chipper and create this product, that is literally burned, and they use that to power their city. And during the holidays they go to that waste wood facility and end up powering their city.”
Gray said although this is an extraordinary example, everyone can do something with their tree. Turn it into mulch yourself, or simply check with your local government to see if they have a street-side pick up service.
For more information on what you can do with your tree visit here.
Imagine 33 million Christmas trees. That’s how many holiday trees were brought home just last year in the United States according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Marcia Gray, Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association, said Christmas trees are actually considered one of Michigan’s cash crops!
“Well, first of all, Michigan is the third largest producer of Christmas trees in the U.S. This holiday season we’re going to estimate that we harvest 2 to 2-and-a-half million trees. About 3-quarters of those trees leave Michigan. Our trees are going elsewhere and bringing dollars back.”
Gray said she expects the tree industry to bring in roughly 40-million dollars to the state this year, and that’s at wholesale price.
She also said the agriculture industry is much more influential on Michigan’s economy than people give it credit for.
For more information on the Michigan Christmas tree business visit this website.
The Michigan corn harvest is still going on in much of the state.
Officials said this year has been unusual since farmers are still working on finishing the harvest.
Crop specialists said the cool spring and mild summer made for a late corn harvest. Continue reading
December 5 is World Soil Day, and pockets of supporters around the world are using the day to raise awareness of the importance of healthy soil. Continue reading
City officials in Mid Michigan said they will be contacting local residents for feedback on a popular farmers market.
The Midland Farmers Market could be moving, or getting a new design . Continue reading
Michigan foodies said there’s more to local foods than cherries and wine.
And they said lesser known specialties like venison, hummus and beer are now available at stores thanks to what they call, a food hub.
It’s a scavenger hunt of sorts: the U.S. Forest Service is hoping Michiganders can help them find the few ash trees which have managed to survive the invasion of a deadly Asian beetle in the hopes of one day reviving the state’s ash population.
Michigan’s sugar beet crop is being harvested right now growers are expecting a record crop.
Reports out of Ohio are claiming Emerald Ash Borers have been found feeding on non-Ash trees.
The USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program will provide nearly $2 million to support 30 Michigan specialty crop projects throughout the state. Continue reading
October is National Farm to School Month and at one northern Michigan school, students have been in the garden growing their lunches. Now it’s harvest time.
Students at Northern Michigan Christian School in McBain have been growing vegetables for lunches and for agricultural education for six years now.
Nikki Witbeck teaches agriculture classes at the school.
She said the students weren’t getting enough healthy food. So the school decided to discontinue the federal hot lunch program and plant its own garden. Continue reading
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which led to the establishment of the extension service.
Tuesday marked the first day of autumn and thoughts of pumpkins and apple cider might not be far behind.
Another Michigan crop is coming into season in time for the holidays. Continue reading
If you can’t bring the shopper to the farm, bring the farmer to the grocery store.
This is the idea of a Michigan program connecting shoppers with local farmers.
The Faces of Michigan Farmers initiative is a program that brings volunteer farmers into local supermarkets. Continue reading