Displaying items tagged: Michigan Farm Bureau
As an industry that bounced back relatively quickly after the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture in Michigan and across the U.S. faces key issues that will shape its fate in 2021, experts say.
Jeff VanderWerff is one of the rare professionals whose day-to-day operations have remained virtually unchanged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like most non-essential businesses in the state, many garden centers and greenhouses in West Michigan have been forced to close as part of continuing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The state has tightened environmental restrictions on Michigan’s largest livestock farms.
Michigan’s food and agriculture industries and related workers are considered as “essential critical infrastructure” to ensure continued food security across the state under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home executive order.
Following a request from Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the U.S. Government Accountability Office will investigate the integrity of the U.S. Department of Agriculture aid to farmers affected by the U.S. trade war with China.
News that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement appears to be headed toward ratification comes as a positive for farmers across the country and especially in Michigan.
Dairy producers are struggling to make ends meet, and many dairy farmers have lost money for months or even several years straight. Jem-Lot Dairy’s Stephanie Schafer, who is also a district director with the Michigan Farm Bureau, said the situation is largely the result of low milk prices. Her farm keeps 300 dairy cows in Clinton County.
As the hunt for PFAS contamination has expanded into crops and livestock, it has revealed new food safety concerns related to the limited state-led testing system and lax federal standards.
Agricultural land values have remained relatively stable throughout most regions in Michigan, even though many farmers continue to face serious headwinds.
State Sen. Stephanie Chang says granting state driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants is as much of an issue of economics and public health as it is about immigration.
The death count from frightful incidents involving enclosed grain elevators is on the rise — a stark reminder to West Michigan’s agricultural industry of the dangers of grain handling.
Time has run out for about 10 percent of crops in the state, as Michigan farmers face delays related to one of the wettest spring seasons on record.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this month reversed a policy from the Snyder administration that blocked commercial solar energy projects on property enrolled in the state’s farmland preservation program.
LANSING — Michigan lawmakers are allocating $15 million to a low-interest loan program to help farmers wrestling with crop losses associated with historic rainfall this spring.
A new state law preventing environmental regulations from being stricter than the federal government’s could see a test under the Trump administration’s proposal to scale back national water standards. The proposal to redefine the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule would scale back regulations adopted by the Obama administration that set which waters receive protection under the Clean Water Act.
Discussions about global warming often concern what could happen in the future, but West Michigan fruit growers are adapting to changes in the climate that have already been happening for decades. Jeff VanderWerff, a fourth-generation grower at Sparta-based VanderWerff Farms LLC, said he and his brother, Joe VanderWerff, spend more time than they care to admit watching changing climate patterns.
Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill provides much-needed certainty and support — and not just for Michigan farmers. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the Farm Bill, is a multi-faceted piece of legislation that affects Michigan’s farmers and farm workers, equipment manufacturers, food processing businesses, retailers, and many other people across the state.
Agriculture Roundtable: West Michigan farmers remain optimistic, despite a flurry of industry challenges
Not even depressed commodity prices, stalled trade talks, labor constraints and climate change can stanch farmers’ optimism.
HOLLAND — A farmworker shortage and low commodity prices are forcing West Michigan blueberries farmers to alter how they approach their harvests.
June was a busy month for the Michigan Legislature.
An often overlooked component of the ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan would create a commercial market for pot’s more utilitarian relative: hemp.
Paul Pyle is no stranger to the turmoil facing Michigan dairy farmers.
So far in 2018, his Zeeland-based Pyle Dairy Farm Inc. is experiencing its worst year on record. With little funds available to replace dilapidated equipment, Pyle’s often left “duct-taping stuff together” to keep his farm operations afloat.
MUSKEGON — The path to closing the $66 billion mega-merger of Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. included the divestiture of chemical manufacturing operations in West Michigan.
One of the biggest issues Carl Bednarski expects to deal with in 2018 is the national Farm Bill, which will address agricultural concerns in infrastructure, crop insurance and exports. The president of the Michigan Farm Bureau discussed what legislation will affect the agricultural community the most.
As farmers across the state struggle to turn a profit in an era of depressed commodity prices, one aspect of agribusiness — food processing — continues to grow in West Michigan.
LANSING — Farmers in Michigan are becoming increasingly dependent on guest workers to fill a void left by migrant laborers who are opting out of coming to the state to harvest crops.
In 2013, the discovery of a large deposit of high-quality potash in Michigan touched off a wave of public attention.
A major player in Big Agriculture is poised to expand its influence in the industry.