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Agribiz (92)

By implementing auto-steer technology on tillage equipment, Jeff VanderWerff has increased efficiency by roughly 15 percent on his 2,000-acre Kent County farm.

West Michigan farmers call for action on trade policy

Written by | Saturday, 15 September 2018 21:45 |

As discussions over international trade policies have ramped up in recent months, West Michigan farmers say more needs to be done to ensure the U.S. has a “level playing field” with other countries.

Not even depressed commodity prices, stalled trade talks, labor constraints and climate change can stanch farmers’ optimism.

SARANAC — Inking a deal with a Chinese firm will allow a West Michigan machine control software developer to reach a broader market, as well as possibly move beyond some legal troubles that have plagued it over the last decade.

HOLLAND — A farmworker shortage and low commodity prices are forcing West Michigan blueberries farmers to alter how they approach their harvests.

Q&A: Isaiah Wunsch - CEO, Wunsch Farms

Written by | Saturday, 21 July 2018 15:19 |

The U.S. House and Senate each passed their own very different version of the 2018 farm bill, setting up a sprint to a Sept. 30 deadline, when the current legislation expires. If they fail to come to a compromise and pass a bill that President Trump will sign, farmers could face disruptions in many crucial federal programs covered by the farm bill, including crop insurance programs and agricultural research, as well as food assistance for low-income citizens. 

KALAMAZOO — The $12 million in new capital Vestaron Corp. seeks to raise would enable the company to complete a journey to bring to market a new environmentally friendly pesticide. 

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.

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.

On the label of a recently released pale ale, New Belgium Brewing Co. proclaims “Hops and hemp reign — together at last.” 

With an oversupply of many hop varieties in the marketplace, growers might look to curb their growth until demand increases

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As a third-generation farmer at Hamilton-based Koeman Farms, Steve Koeman is monitoring how possible tariffs could affect the economics of his family business.

Michigan’s farmers and food processors are closely watching how talks of trade wars and retaliatory tariffs could affect the nearly $2.7 billion in exports they send to other countries.

GRAND RAPIDS — The new generation of agricultural leaders across West Michigan will likely look different than your grandfather’s farm.

While they operate in the shadow of West Michigan’s brewing industry, local cideries, distilleries and wineries make up a growing piece of the region’s overall craft beverage scene.

Farmers’ increasing use of credit to finance operations has left some operators financially exposed during a volatile period for the industry.

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