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FoodBiz

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. 

Vander Heide, the current president of the Michigan Cider Association, said the cider industry fought hard to be included specifically in the new law’s language outlining the council’s governing board.

An update to Michigan law is bringing a more equitable approach to how license fees from craft beverage producers are spent. 

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

.

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.

GREENVILLE — After being on the market for more than a year, a West Michigan restaurant and brewery has sold to new owners.

PAW PAW — A Southwest Michigan-based provider of fresh and frozen blueberries, asparagus and grapes has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

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