Michigan farming news focus on the agriculture industry. From tree fruit production, soybeans, dairy farming, environmental regulations, and more. Here is the top farming news of 2021.
Growing non-GMO, Weed control is a priority
According to Penn State Extension educator (Union County), there’s an opportunity to tap on markets that focus on GMO beans, but it all depends on the location. Any justification on the growth boils down to the cost versus the returns you get.
Because the main cost is weed control, Michigan farmers should ensure the premium is high to offset the cost of herbicides. Common weed species like marestail, ragweeds, and pigweeds are resistant to herbicides, so the best to use are:
- Pursuit and raptor
After this farming news was released, Brett Taylor (a renowned farmer) could not take chances. Taylor’s crop rotation consists of 200 acres of soybeans, 350 acres of corn, and 100 acres of intricate wheat.
Most Michigan farming news has highlighted a few facts about market dynamics. For instance, as the prices of soybeans go through the roof, it can be unreasonable to grow non-GMO soybeans. When addressing Michigan farming news reporters, the Michigan University Soybean educator stated that the contract for non-GMO is going to be flat due to high commodity prices.
Another headache for many farmers is making sure the beans are harvested at the right moisture content. This is where a high level of management and segregation comes in.
Digital farm service adds long-range weather forecasts
Everyone talks about the weather, but a few people do something about it. According to Raymond Schmitt, BASF and salient, the predictions give a view of the environmental parameters.
This Michigan news also stated that Raymond Schmitt (president and co-founder of salient productions) developed an accuracy model that only works for a few days then it degrades. But after several years of research, the company has developed an array of environmental parameters.
Digital weather forecast could mean:
- Change in fungicide application
- Faster crop advancement
- Coping with management challenges
Farmers can now use Xarvio and a new salient prediction service. The right forecasting could mean delayed planting or dropping the seeds at the right time to maintain crop yield.
Keeping farmers in future climate solutions
The Senate hearing on climate change has become the top Michigan farming news in recent months. In its first hearing, it agreed that carbon markets offer income to producers and could be cost-prohibitive.
According to a ranking John Boozman, there are many exciting opportunities to reward farmers. But the current reality is that they must navigate the complex barriers to curb market uncertainty. Other costs they should keep in mind include:
- Technical services
- New technologies and equipment
- Costs associated with verification
Boozman also added that the administration must address the framework to combat climate change, promote farmer participation, and distort planting decisions.
To ensure a family-friendly solution, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Should be a voluntary approach – Sen. Cory Booker told the committee that a voluntary approach must be realized. And farmers are always selling crops to keep the cost of operation low.
- Carbon should not be the only consideration
- Locally LED input is key
- Reward those who have smart climate practices
- Science must be the center of the discussion
- Farming is a collaborative effort
Michigan Food Farming system to host SARE farmer forum
In January 2021, the Michigan State University organized a forum. But what made this part of Michigan news is the fact that they allowed farmers to use SARE grants to conduct education projects. The speakers gave first-hand experience and reports on how the projects impacted their farms. Some of the discussions on the forum included:
- Intercropping for small scale vegetable production
- Designing a mobile milking parlor
- Funding opportunities to reward farmers
Agricultural professionals in extension services
Over few months, extension services have become part of Michigan news as it encourages people to take action through education. In a joint conference between the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management and Michigan State University, the programming staff proposed the idea of writing a collaboration book. The document shared:
- The best practices
- Innovative initiatives
To build bridges, Michigan and India have formed joint international conferences and educational trips.
AG Market Outlook Lower than farm income in 2021
A decrease in government payment was highlighted as top news early this year- for good reasons. While the outlook is uncertain, farmers remain optimistic in their farming activities. For instance, the government has provided a few programs that ensure the price of commodities rebound in the months to come.
The bipartisan bill encourages whole milk in schools
Michigan State passed a bill to provide healthy options for school-aged children. When addressing Michigan farming news reporters, the UN representatives introduced a bipartisan whole milk act of 2021 that allowed kids to enjoy flavored and unflavored milk. This gives the school more options in providing nutritious milk to children.
In the past, some of the Michigan farming news has emphasized that whole milk provides essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and vitamin D. It also has a rich nutritional profile that consists of:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin A
Wisconsin Farmers appointed to the Dairy board
Early 2021, the top Michigan Farming news was the appointment of Becky Levzow of Rio and George Crave of Waterloo as members of USDA’s National Dairy board. The board consists of 36 farmers that represent 13 regions. Since the board was established in 1983, it has worked hard to strengthen the dairy industry.
Following the appointment, this Michigan news came with a few surprises – two incumbents were defeated. But most of them faced no opposition. The goal of the directors is to:
- To formulate and set policies
- Guide organization finances
- Come up with a business plan
- Maintain its mission
Spring looks bright for crop distributors
The agronomy outlook that has been highlighted in Michigan news shows that there’s a strong demand for agricultural inputs. The planting season started with favorable fundamentals to expand the profit margins.
The 2021 spring season showed improving profits that cushion an inversion into the future. While many producers have missed on gains on soybean crops, others have recorded significant profits in dairy farming. But as financial leverage continues to increase, farmers should expect more crop usage in 2021.
But given the high acreage forecast, farmers should buy fertilization products during the planting season. On the other hand, the fertilization level is expected to increase. While logistical bottlenecks remain a risk, farmers should take note of delays in certain parts of the county.
New grant to help carrot and wheat farmers deter pests
This Michigan news became a big debate for months – for good reasons. Unfortunately, most farmers can’t see the pests on their farms until the damage is too much. This is not something to be taken lightly considering that Michigan is a key producer of carrot and wheat.
According to Marisol and Henry Chung, there has been extensive research in the MSU Department of Entomology to identify the two lesion nematodes. In preliminary research, the ways these two nematodes specify flourish depend on the reproduction method. This Michigan Farming news indicates that farmers should use crop rotation, nematicide, and other alternatives to control nematodes.
Through accurate identification, farmers can get accurate damage thresholds and come up with an alternative method of control. On the other hand, carrot farmers interested in compost manure can develop strategies to manage pests.
Phosphorus and potassium are recommended for high yields
In March 2021, most Michigan farming news emphasized the need to use potassium and phosphorus fertilizer – it’s the best way to maximize economic returns. In a comprehensive soil testing program, the concentration for a given nutrient should be about 95-97%.
The Michigan State University nutrient recommendation is that these minerals should not be at critical levels. But when the maintenance level is higher than the maintenance limit, there’s no need for additional nutrient applications.
For soybean, the critical level for phosphorus is estimated to be 20 parts per million – the maintenance limit is set at 40 ppm. To be safe, the application should be done during fall. This reduces fertilizer fixation and improves phosphorus fertilizer availability.
Similarly, potassium application should not be less than 5 meg/100mg. The critical level is rated at 100 ppm, while the normal limit is around 130. But again, such levels are based on soil test results. However, you can apply potassium and phosphorus under the following soybean crop rotation:
- The soil PH should be less than 7.4
- The application rate accounts for potassium and phosphorus removal
- The application is done before applying corn
When potassium and phosphorus are below the critical level, farmers should build the required test levels.
STATEWIDE Spring Tree Fruit webinar series
The spring tree fruit webinar series is the top Michigan Farming news in the state. It’s specifically dedicated to hobbyist fruit growers due to the restrictions on the current events.
The application is open statewide. All you need is to provide your name, contact information, email, location, and any other relevant information. After you complete the process, you should click on the date you wish to attend the webinar.
All participants are eligible for Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development certification. Don’t forget to get the applicator number when you enter the zoom webinar.
While most farmers appreciate this Michigan Farming News, a few have been having challenges with using Zoom. Once you receive an email on the zoom link, you’ll be prompted to enter contact information. It’s something you can do via desktop or mobile device.
WHEAT PETE Wisdom Webinar Series
Perhaps, this is the most awaited webinar that has become top Michigan farming news. It will be presented on 17th March 2021 by Peter Johnson. The main topic of the day is how to fin-tune wheat.
In a similar webinar that kicked in February, it registered more than 1000 people. The discussion focused on enhancing wheat fields and marketing produce.
The webinar will start with a quick update on Michigan wheat happenings and then followed by a keynote presentation. There will also be a time for questions and answers. According to Michigan news reporters, the webinar is set to begin at 8 pm and will run for about 1 hour 30 minutes.
To register for the webinar, you should visit the Michigan wheat program website or the wheat wisdom webinar series. After registration, you’ll get an email and a link to the instructions. And thanks to the unique partnership, the webinar will be available for live viewing on Facebook.
Farm with no employees to benefit from paycheck protection program
Based on 2020 gross income, farmers can apply for a paycheck protection program. This is arguably the best Michigan farming news in the first quarter of 2021. According to CARES ACT 2020, the program is designed to give loans to small businesses who specialize in Michigan crane and rigging and farms. While so much has been done on the provision of payroll expenses, PPP loans will cater to the needs of self-employed farmers.
While this Michigan farming news may look great on paper, there have been a few challenges. Due to the negative impact of COVID-19, the first draw is yet to be received. And it gets a little complicated because the second loan requires that a business experiences a 25% reduction in gross receipts.
For sole proprietors, the owner compensation income is based on annual gross income. The multi-member LLCs are subject to loan amount calculation. After receipt of funds, farms must spend on expenses for 8-24 months. Any remaining funds must be spent on operating expenses.
Farm stress teletherapy to include Michigan Aquaculture and commercial fishers
A few weeks the Michigan News that topped the headlines involved how Michigan fish farmers can enroll in online counseling. The truth is, seafood producers face a lot of challenges like not knowing how much fish will be cast and unpredictable weather.
These stressors may be overwhelming to fish farmers because their livelihoods depend on factors beyond their control. And despite the emotional and physical demands on their jobs, commercial farmers must accept the risks and base their efforts on operating a successful business.
Farm stress teletherapy involves:
- Helping commercial fishers recognize signs of stress
- Recognizing the warning signs
- Knowing the tools to support a healthy lifestyle