MSU Extension drainage specialist Ehsan Ghane discusses controlled drainage strategies for farms at the Lenawee County Center for Excellence field day in August. Roughly 500 farmers attended.

Uncertainty among Michigan fruit growers drives climate-related adaptations

CLIMATE CHANGE: Fruit tree growers along the Lake Michigan coast are wrestling with challenges created by climate change, including how to adapt to those unpredictable changing weather conditions. We hear from a Mattawan farmer, the author of a study from U-M, Farm Bureau and MSU Extension experts. By Andrea Vera. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND, BENZIE COUNTY, OCEANA COUNTY, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, GREENVILLE, IONIA, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, BLISSFIELD, CADILLAC, LAKE COUNTY and ALL POINTS.

Fresh produce more accessible for low-income Michiganders

DOUBLE UP FOOD PROGRAM A program that gives low-income Michiganders fresh fruit and vegetables and a path to healthier nutrition recently got a $2 million boost from state lawmakers. That’s up from the $900,000 program that gives participants a dollar-for-dollar match on fresh fruits and vegetables. Families receive twice the quantity of produce for half the price. By Barbara Bellinger. FOR PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS.

Michigan’s growing hemp industry faces roadblocks

INDUSTRIAL HEMP: Michigan’s hemp industry could get up to $100 million in federal funds to help it compete globally under a proposal pushed by a nationwide growers association.
The state is one of four with emerging hemp industries targeted by the National Hemp Association, along with Oregon, New York and Florida. The funding would be for developing a “regional super site” in each state to aid in the industry’s growth, said Geoff Whaling, the association’s chair. We interview farmers in Saranac and Spring Lake, association officials and a state agriculture spokeswoman. For IONIA, HOLLAND and ALL POINTS.

Caterpillars of the invasive moth first consume the leaves and then the bark of the plant, killing the shrub.

Homeowners to track invasive moths threatening widespread shrub

INVASIVE MOTHS: MSU Extension is conducting a program to help monitor an invasive moth species. The destructive box tree moth was found in the United States this past spring, including three areas in Michigan. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services are partnering. By McKoy Scribner. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.

Campus works to become more pollinator-friendly

POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY: In an effort to battle invasive species, Michigan State University is becoming a more welcoming place for bees, butterflies and other native pollinators. Thanks to a grant from Project Wingspan, the university is adding new pollinator gardens on campus. By McCoy Scribner. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.

Farmers could benefit from easing trade relations between the U.S. and Cuba, experts say

CUBA AGRICULTURE: During the 2020 campaign, presidential candidate Joe Biden said he would reverse Trump administration policies that limit trade between the U.S. and Cuba. However, the administration has yet to make specific comments about increasing exports. A U.S. Senate bill would lift the embargo. Michigan farmers, especially dry bean growers, could benefit from higher sales to Cuba. Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, Bay and Saginaw counties are the biggest dry bean producers. We talk to the director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and to the Michigan Bean Commission, Farm Bureau and Agri-Business Association. For news and agriculture sections. By Brandon Chew. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.

The Spoonville Peninsula and archaeological site along the Grand River in Ottawa County.

Abandoned food caches offer evidence of Native American survival strategies

CACHES: You have to look hard to spot the Spoonville Peninsula on a map of Southwest Michigan, but it was an important location for native peoples for centuries before European contact — and may contain the largest collection of cache pits ever excavated in the Upper Great Lakes. Researchers from a Williamston archaeological firm and MSU undertook the project near the mouth of the Grand River in Ottawa County, finding important evidence about how these caches were used to store food as a “risk management strategy” to improve their capacity for survival “in the difficult environment of the region,” according to a new study. By Eric Freedman. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND, BAY MILLS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Advocates look to labs for replacements for farm-raised meats

MEAT REPLACEMENT: The food industry may be getting closer to introducing lab-grown, or cultured meat created by feeding nutrients to animal cells taken from poultry or livestock. Advocates see it as a possible solution to the environmental impacts of raising animals for meat. We hear from an MSU food expert and a vegetarian. For news and food sections. By Jonus Cottrell. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.