Health officials recommend owners check with a veterinarian if their dogs show symptoms of the “mystery” respiratory illness.

Caution urged for holiday travel with dogs due to virus

DOGS: Officials and veterinarians are worried about a “mystery” respiratory illness confirmed in more than a dozen states, including neighboring Indiana. They urge extra caution in the runup to heavy holiday travel. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the American Veterinary Medical Association offer advice. By Kelsey Lester. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

Farm Bureau district director Jeff Sandborn grows 1,800 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat in Ionia County

High fertilizer costs hit Michigan farmers

FARM COSTS: Farmers have been hit by sharply higher fertilizer prices since the Covid-19 pandemic, with corn growers hit especially hard. A Farm Bureau economist and a farmer who represents Farm Bureau members in Barry, Kent, Ottawa and Allegan counties explain. By Stephanie Rauhe. FOR HOLLAND, WKTV, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.

Thumb counties hit by high colorectal cancer rates

CANCER: Residents of Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties in the Thumb have a disproportionately high rate of colorectal cancer, including a higher death rate, a new study finds. Risk factors include obesity, smoking, age and an “unhealthy food environment.” Elsewhere, the lowest rate was in Houghton County, followed by Emmet, Mason, Ottawa and Ontonagon counties, Wexford and Mecosta counties were among those with the lowest rates. The highest rate was in Montmorency County, followed by Clare, Gratiot, Oscoda and Osceola counties. Gogebic, Alger and Baraga counties were among those with the highest rates. Study done by MSU faculty and a Grand Rapids physician. By Eric Freedman. FOR CLARE, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, WKTV, MONTMORENCY, MARQUETTE, CADILLAC, BIG RAPIDS, IRON MOUNTAIN, BAY MILLS AND ALL POINTS.

Intense rains from climate change are leading to more flooded farm fields.

Changes in rain patterns create water challenges for farmers

CLIMATE & FARMERS: Climate change means Michigan farmers not only face more intense rain at times but also drier conditions in the summer. That creates challenges in water management and irrigation practices. We talk to an Ithaca farmer dealing with the challenges,and a Michigan Farm Bureau expert. By Stephanie Rauhe. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! PLANET DETROIT, MIDLAND, LANSING AND ALL POINTS.

Wild turkeys sitting in a Michigan field.

Local farms compete with imported turkeys during Thanksgiving

TURKEY: In the run-up to Thanksgiving, a growing number of consumers are turning to locally raised turkeys. Meanwhile, Michigan’s flock of wild turkeys is prospering, but few of them grace Thanksgiving tables. We hear from a Gaylord turkey farmer, a Traverse City meat market and a DNR wild turkey expert. By Kelsey Lester. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU AND ALL POINTS.

Michigan State University, a land grant university, conducts research on agricultural and farm practices at the MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center in Novi. Michigan farmers are seeking more research money in the upcoming Farm Bill renewal.

State farmers eye upcoming federal Farm Bill

FARM BILL: Congress is working on the Farm Bill which will help set national agricultural policy for the next five years. What do Michigan farmers want in it? We hear from experts at the Michigan Farm Bureau, MSU Extension Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute and Michigan Farmers Union. By Liz Nass. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, CORP! GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

Michigan is No. 4 in the country for sugar beet production.

Great Lakes microclimate good for specialty crops

SPECIALTY CROPS: Specialty crops account for Michigan’s status as having the nation’s second-most diverse agricultural industry, but some farmers are unhappy about the timing of produce imports from abroad. They often arrive at the same time the state’s crops are being harvested and thus depress prices farmers get for their fruits and vegetables. Potato-producing Montcalm County mentioned. By Kenzie Terpstra. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP., GREENVILLE, BIG RAPIDS AND ALL POINTS.

Participants in a MI Paddle Stewards invasive species training paddle on the upper Grand River in Jackson.

Helping the fight against invasives, on land and in water

FIGHTING INVASIVES: The Midwest Invasive Species Information Network needs help finding and identifying invasive land and aquatic species. The organization leads several citizen science initiatives, two of which – Eyes on the Forest and MI Paddle Stewards – are expanding their programs, looking for volunteers to cover more ground and water. Includes references to Mason, Oceana, Ottawa, Allegan, Benzie, Oakland and Muskegon counties. By Elinor Epperson. FOR LUDINGTON, OCEANA, OTTAWA, DETROIT, PLANET DETROIT, HOLLAND, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.