agriculture

Business
11:28 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Audio Postcard: Harvest time in Michigan | WKAR

Zach Rappleye farms 1,800 acres of corn and soybeans near Jackson. Many farmers in southern Michigan experienced a cooler and wetter summer than normal, which pushed back the harvest. Rappleye says he hopes to finish by mid-December.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Orange and yellow are the colors of the season across mid-Michigan, as the fall harvest continues. After a bone-chilling winter, many areas of the Lower Peninsula saw a cooler and wetter summer than usual. Some farmers are racing the clock to harvest corn and soybeans and plant winter wheat.

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Economy
12:32 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Michigan vineyards stressed by cool, wet weather

Credit Flickr - Amy

Strange weather in Michigan continues to affect various kinds of agriculture. Current State’s Melissa Benmark has been checking into the effects of a hard winter and a cool summer on the wine industry in the state.

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Economy
1:55 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Detroit's honey bees offer lesson in working together

Honey bees in Detroit help fuel the growth in urban agriculture.
Hannah Meiklejohn

In urban areas, the importance of honey bees to a city’s neighborhoods and communities often gets overlooked. But in Detroit, honey bees are crucial to the city’s rebirth, says Joan Mandell. Mandell operates Green Toe Gardens, which has more than 100 beehives in community gardens, schools and yards all across the Detroit metropolitan area. Not only do bees help pollinate many plant species in Detroit, says Mandell, but their collective behavior could also serve as an example of how to work together for a common good.

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Environment
12:57 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Michigan farmers adjusting to climate change

Opinions vary on whether changes in agriculture driven by climate change are positive or negative.
Credit Flickr - Parker Knight

If you’ve found yourself putting on a sweater or light jacket on cool evenings this summer, you’ve probably wondered what’s going on with the weather. The polar vortex that visited us so harshly last winter made a return visit a few weeks ago, dropping temperatures below normal. It turns out that there’s at least one upside to climate change; one that could help our farm economy.

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Science & Technology
1:07 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Ag Expo focuses on education, technology

The Michigan Ag Expo is held on the campus of Michigan State University and will host more than 200 exhibitors.
Credit Flickr

Thousands of farmers from all over Michigan will take some time away from the fields next week to visit the Michigan State University campus for Ag Expo. Starting Tuesday, the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will be joined by MSU AgBioResearch scientists and MSU Extension educators to conduct education programs. And, farm equipment producers always bring the latest in farming technology to display.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
11:19 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Memoir explores couple's pursuit of agrarian dream

Credit Michigan State University Press

A new memoir from the MSU Press looks at what happens when a professional couple decides to get in touch with their agrarian dream of life in the country. Richard Gilbert teaches writing at Otterbein College in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. He’s the author of “Shepherd”.

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Science
11:33 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Deadly piglet virus hits farms statewide, nationally

The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus causes diarrhea in suckling piglets.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Pig farmers in Michigan and around the nation are losing piglets to a virus that is easily spread and almost always lethal to very young animals. So far, it’s killed over six million piglets.

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Science & Technology
12:39 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Aw, shucks: Corn waste yields feed and fuel

MBI employee Laurel Hills inspects a tub of corn stover used in the AFEX project. It's a process by which leftover corn residue, or stover, is treated with ammonia and heat to release sugars. The end product makes a good feedstock for cattle as well as a promising biofuel.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Spring planting season for corn in Michigan is still at least a month away, but scientists who study the crop’s amazing versatility want you to cast your vote for a “home-grown” project. The Michigan Biotechnology Institute, or MBI, is developing a process that seeks to get more use out of the leftover  residue of the plant that’s not fit for human consumption.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:51 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

State proposes local control of backyard livestock

Credit Flickr - Lost Albatross

   

An important debate over urban farming in Michigan continues today in Lansing. Officials from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and others will discuss proposed rule changes governing farm animals in developed, residential areas.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:13 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

President Obama to sign Farm Bill on MSU campus today

President Barack Obama will sign the Farm Bill today at Michigan State University.
Credit Flickr - Ethan Bloch

The 44th President will be in East Lansing today. Barack Obama will be at Michigan State University this afternoon to sign the federal Farm Bill. It's a long-awaited and sweeping law that will fundamentally change U.S. farm policy.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:45 am
Mon November 18, 2013

MSU to study viability of 'perennial grains' in Africa

MSU researcher Sieg Snapp. Her work has the potential to alleviate chronic malnutrition in certain parts of Africa.
Credit www.anrcom.msu.edu

Hunger and malnourishment have plagued parts of Africa for generations. And nearly as long as the problem has existed, scientists have been looking for solutions to the vexing complexities surrounding mass hunger.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:17 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Rural development in Michigan extends beyond agriculture

USDA's Rural Development office in Michigan has invested in improvements to small town residents' access to culture and technology.
Credit Flickr/Kathleen Tyler Conklin

With Michigan being such an agriculturally diverse state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a strong presence here, but not all having to do with cattle or crops.  The USDA's Rural Development office's purpose is to support smaller communities that, in turn, support the nation’s farmlands.

James Turner, the USDA Rural Development agency's state director, discusses its efforts to improve rural Michiganders' access to culture and technology. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:58 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Michigan Agriculture & Food Index aims to gauge the industry’s health

The 34th annual Agriculture Expo is the three-day outdoor farm show starting today at Michigan State University.
Credit Wikimedia commons

The MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is releasing the first-ever Michigan Agriculture & Food Index, or MAFI.  It's designed to gauge the business climate for agriculture and food business within the state.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:43 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Current State #77 | April 30, 2013

Credit msutoday.msu.edu

Today on Current State: a review of April's news while looking to May; Michigan sustainable food systems and a new exhibit features local architecture. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:34 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Building sustainable food systems in Michigan

Michigan boasts the second highest agricultural output in the U.S., just behind California. But one day, that may not be the case.
Credit msutoday.msu.edu

This month, the Vermont-based local food advocacy group "Strolling of the Heifers" released its second annual Locavore Index. The index ranks states based on their commitment to local food. Michigan earned a spot at # 22 on the list.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:53 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Michigan farmers markets boost economy, health

Credit Natalie Maynor/Flickr

The Michigan Farmers Market Conference takes place today and tomorrow as part of Agriculture and Natural Resources Week. The growth and expansion of farmers’ markets is one of the most visible aspects of Michigan’s vibrant local and regional food renaissance. This rapid market growth has created a need for educational and advocacy programs that protect and grow these venues and highlight the benefits and importance of Michigan agriculture.

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Environment
12:39 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Michigan Farm Bureau outlines 2013 agenda

Keeping up transportation routes, like roads and bridges, enables the agricultural industry to thrive and gain access to needed resources.

More than 400 Michigan farmers had a chance to meet with state legislators this week to talk about their priorities for 2013.  The Michigan Farm Bureau has outlined three main focus areas for its agenda: access to markets, workforce development, and regulatory reform. 

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Drought Begins to Worry Mid-Michigan Corn Growers

With more plentiful rain, Lane Cook's sweet corn would be a few feet taller. The Okemos farmer is bracing for a poor harvest.
Mark Bashore WKAR

2012 is already unfolding as a year that many Michigan crop growers would like to forget. The state’s warmest March ever led to the destruction of almost all of its apples and tart cherries--a combined loss in the hundreds of millions of dollars. As summer settles in, a prolonged dry spell has thousands of mid- and south-Michigan corn growers praying for rain.

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NewsRoom
2:11 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

USDA Undersecretary Praises Senate Farm Bill Passage

WKAR File Photo

U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Dallas Tonsager is praising the Senate’s passage of a $1 trillion farm bill.  Tonsager was in mid-Michigan Friday to meet with farmers and homeowners. 

The farm bill that cleared the Senate Thursday cuts some $24 billion over the next decade.  It would end direct federal subsidies to farmers who’ve relied on those payments since the 1980’s.  Tonsager says farmers are doing well enough economically that there’s less need now for government assistance.

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NewsRoom
10:30 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Where Are the Bees?

Warm weather has promoted fruit trees in Michigan to bloom four or five weeks ahead of schedule.  That means that bees need to be here early, too, but most of the bees that pollinate orchards in Michigan are still wintering in Florida or are busy pollinating crops in California.

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