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BITTER HARVEST: What do sick Chinese pigs, a rainy spring, limits on ethanol production and tariff wars have in common? Each are part of the recipe for what experts say is shaping up as Michigan’s worst year ever for agriculture. By Evan Jones. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND THE NEWS AND BUSINESS SECTIONS OF ALL POINTS
STRESSED FARMERS: For Michigan farmers, this year’s unusually wet weather is yet another stress on an already stressful occupation. It is taking a toll on their mental health, farmers and health experts say. And climate scientists say to expect extreme weather to worsen and further disrupt agriculture as the planet’s average temperature warms from greenhouse gas emissions. Tiling and irrigating may help them prepare their fields. Bracing for the mental stress is another task entirely. We talk to farmers in Ravenna and Monroe, MSU Extension and the National Weather Service. By Cassidy Hough. FOR CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, IONIA, GREENVILLE AND ALL POINTS.
w/STRESSED FARMERS HELP: A list of agencies and websites where depressed farmers can seek help.
w/STRESSED PHOTO 8: A rain-soaked sugar beet field on June 20, in Ionia County. Credit: Michigan Farm News
W/STRESSED PHOTO 9: A tractor stuck in a muddy corn field on Nov. 10, in West Branch. Credit: Mary Kartes
GREEN COLLEGES: Three Michigan universities were recently ranked among the U.S. and Canada’s greenest colleges by two organizations. The Princeton Review listed Michigan State University (19th) and Grand Valley State University (38th) among its top 50. The Sierra Club ranked Grand Valley State University (59th), Michigan State University (66th) and the University of Michigan (71st) among its top 100. By Helen Korneffel. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, GREENVILLE, IONIA AND ALL POINTS.
W/MAP OF GREEN COLLEGES: Map of where top-performing green schools are located. Credit: Sierra Club
DISAPPEARING BUTTERFLY: Going! Going! Soon gone? That may be the plight of the endangered, awkwardly named Poweshiek skipperling butterfly, now known to survive in the wild in only two places on earth, Oakland County and Manitoba. A new study estimates that only 231 adults survive in Michigan, all in three prairie fens – a type of biologically diverse wetland community – and the “last remaining stronghold” for the species in the world. A Central Michigan University plant biologist and a Minnesota Zoo butterfly conservation biologist explain the crisis and an effort to rebuild the populations. By Eric Freedman. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.
w/POWESHIEK SKIPPERLING PHOTO: Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service