agriculture

Dean Baas

Warmer weather in February means that insect pests are returning sooner than usual. 

For farmers, these early insects might be a problem if certain kinds of green vegetation remain in the field when they arrive looking for winter cover crops. 

hoop house photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR-MSU

For city-dwellers, farming might not appear to be a viable career option. A program in Lansing works to encourage urban farming through the Lansing Urban Farm Project apprenticeship program.


WKAR-MSU

Grants of up to $100,000 are available for projects designed to boost the competitiveness of Michigan's fruits, vegetables and other "specialty crops."

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Michigan State University is using a roughly $2 million federal grant to help southwestern Haiti restore agricultural production after Hurricane Matthew's devastating blow last fall.

Koelling with rows of live trees
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Tannenbaum Farms in Mason has been a fixture in mid-Michigan for 40 years. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with co-owner Mel Koelling about this year’s tree harvest.


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WKAR File Photo

The Michigan Farm Bureau is busy planning its  priorities for 2017. We talk with the bureau’s policy development chair, Andy Hagenow.


Spoiling cherries photo
Courtesy photo / Marc Santucci

Cherry picking season may be over, but a few weeks ago one Michigan cherry farmer raised awareness about an issue that’s still creating a buzz. Marc Santucci posted a picture to Facebook of all the tart cherries his farm was forced to spoil, and it went viral. We talk to him about the picture and the story behind it.


Zippy Duvall photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

The new president of the American Farm Bureau, Zippy Duvall, is in Michigan this week. He speaks with Current State about the farming workforce, water rights and more.


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Kevin Lavery / WKAR

U.S. farmers are fighting the EPA’s recent Waters of the U.S. rule, calling it intrusive. We get an update on how Michigan’s largest farmer’s organization, the Michigan Farm Bureau, is responding and a look at the MFB’s 2016 agenda.


Amy Iezzoni photo
Courtesy MSU Department of Horticulture

MSU horticulture professor Amy Iezzoni explains the science behind the state’s cherry industry and her work to bring varieties from around the world to Michigan.


WKAR file photo

Nitrogen plays an essential role in plant growth, but it’s a scarce resource in nature. Farmers used to have to use beans or legumes to fix the nutrient into their fields. But with the advent of artificial fertilizers, agriculture has been able to bypass that step and put the nitrogen directly into the soil. While this has allowed farmers to increase production of nutrient intensive crops like corn, it’s had some other, not so great, side effects.

http://www.humanesociety.org/

Michigan State University has always been known for its strong Agriculture and Natural Resources programs. The university is in the midst of its 100th annual ANR Week, which showcases the sciences of farming and environmental stewardship. One recent conference highlighted farm sustainability into the 21st century.

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It’s still too cold for spring planting, but the legislative issues Michigan farmers care most about are heating up again. Yesterday, dozens of crop producers from across the state met in Lansing for the annual Lansing Legislative Seminar, sponsored by the Michigan Farm Bureau. Farmers met in conference sessions to talk about a number of current issues, and many had a chance to speak one on one with their local lawmakers.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Greater Lansing Orchid Society’s annual show and sale is coming up this weekend. Current State’s Scott Pohl met up with a leading local orchid grower to learn more about these beautiful flowering plants. Bill Porter would say that successfully growing orchids isn't terribly hard as long as you treat them right.

Fledgling farmers learn the business of ag at MSU

Feb 10, 2015
Scott Pohl/WKAR

American agriculture is graying. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average age of a farmer in the U.S. is now 58. Around a third are already over 65. That begs the question of what happens when those farmers retire? With fewer young people considering careers in agriculture, experts are worried about the future of food production here in the U.S. That’s why the most recent Farm Bill is setting aside more money to train and support fledgling farmers.

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