Michigan Farming News of 2021 Part 2

Michigan Agriculture News



The year 2021 has been an eventful year for farming in Michigan. There is a big hope of going back to normality after the devastation of COVID 19. However, there has been many challenges all the same, fire for instance. This paper will discuss farming in Michigan and the major in 2021.

Types of Farming

Like in most states, Michigan is not heterogonous in the type of farming that can be carried out. There is a lot of variation that comes due to the specific regions. Therefore, most of the Michigan residents prefer to grow and farm what others are doing. There have been cases where farmers lost a lot of their investment.

The following are the main categories of farming in Michigan:

Dairy farming: This is done in the southern as well as the central parts in the Lower Peninsula

-Dry, soy, and beans are mainly grown in the Saginaw Valley

-Corn and wheat is grown in the central as well as the southern parts of the Lower Peninsula

-Fruits are normally grown in the Lower Peninsula and along Lake Michigan

-Nurseries as well as green houses are farmed in the Detroit Metropole including Macomb, Wayne, and Oakland

Having discussed that, there are various factors which can help a Michigan farmer determine what to farm. These are the following:

Physical factors: The physical factors which determine what a Michigan farmer should farm are the type of soil, topography, and climate. Because there is little that a Michigan farmer can do over the amount of rain, then one can make a decision to do irrigation. Productivity can be improved through modifying acidity, fertility, and organic matter content. Some farmers decide not to till their land in a certain season in order to enhance the fertility of the soil. Others use natural solutions such as mulching.

Economic factors: Every farmer has to do a thorough analysis of the amount that is going to be spent in farming. Some types of farming are known to be capital-intensive, and one needs to be prepared early enough in order to gather the necessary funding. The good thing is that the US has some reliable sources of funding which a farmer can exploit in order to start a farming project. It should be noted that one may need to buy a farm in order to start farming, and that is not cheap.

The Winter and Wheat Crops

The year 2021 has been a challenging time for the wheat farmers in Michigan. In the year 2021, temperatures reached as low as -18 degrees Fahrenheit. Farmers started getting worried that the cold temperatures would start affecting the wheat crop. This is more so because there is little that one can do about winter.

However, the farmers should not be overly worried about such incidences, and they do happen. Again, much as the temperatures are low, it does not in any way mean that the soil temperatures are low. Winter survival could be guaranteed as far as there are no snow melts, and farmers should not be worried about this.

Michigan Farmers Union

The Michigan Farmers Union plays a critical role in the protection and enhancing the opportunities that farmers have in Michigan as well as Michigan Welding. In addition to that, the union has played an important role in improving the lives of the Michigan farmers, and its achievement in the course of years is a testimony to the same.

The union holds that if the rural communities are to thrive, then, family agriculture is of paramount importance. The union advocates for a grass root structure where policy decisions can be locally implemented, and therefore, have an impact on the local population of the people. The union is a respected voice on critical agricultural issues, not just at the state level, but at the local level too. The union has made a concrete strategic plan in order to help the farmers in Michigan in a better way.

Michigan Farm Fun

Some farms in the US are so unique that they are a tourist attraction site. In such cases, families and children can spend time together as they sightsee the farms and learn a lot in such activities. The Michigan agri-tourism Association has recognized Michigan as a rich agricultural state. It’s a non-profit association which supports the industry through networking, problem resolution, advocacy, as well as education.

There are farms in Michigan which warmly welcome the visitors. This can be for the purpose of educating the visitors or just for fun. Agritourism destinations are evolving, and they are growing. Farmers should learn the best way of tapping the potential that comes with this type of tourism.

Use of Farming Technology

Michigan has not been left behind in the use of farming technology. Michigan State University is the pioneer and the leading example of farming technology. The Institute of Agricultural Technology, Michigan State University, was founded in 1984 in order to help the Michigan farmers improve in their yields. By then, the technology in use was not anywhere compared to what the modern world can provide, but it was a great achievement all the same. The Institute of Farming Technology aims at offering career-ready farming skills that offer training as well as professional experience.

Other farmers have used technology from as far as China. This is because technology sourced from such technology can be cheaper than American technology, though not necessarily of the desired quality.

Challenges Facing Farming in Michigan

Agriculture and farming in Michigan is not very consistent, unlike the mid-western, the prairies, and the corn-belt. This is due to climatic characteristics, drainage, topography, and heterogeneous soils. The southern half, the Lower Peninsula, has the largest amount of land which can be cultivated, and has the most farms. The rest of the state has poor agricultural conditions.

Michigan State University has stated that farmers in Michigan feel that the agricultural sector can be a very uncertain sector. The university cited the planting season which can be a time when the farmers experience extreme weather. Extreme weather makes it difficult to carry out farm operations and makes it difficult for planting.

Low prices for farm produce are a problem that cuts across farmers in the US. It has been estimated that since 2013, net income that farmers gain has reduced by a half. Unlike in some professions where farmers are cushioned against inflation, farmers continue to face challenges that come with the rising cost of goods and services.

Michigan has cried foul over issues in international trade arising. Tariffs on crops such as soya beans have had a negative impact on farming in the state. Many Americans farmers complain that they are receiving unfair competition from China, and they have requested the American government to intervene in protecting them.

The penetration of farming technology among the farmers is not high. Farming technology benefits farmers because it offers precision farming. But this type of technology is generally expensive. Some types of farming technology will require that you hire a certain type of specialist or an expert who can offer the relevant skills. Getting such an expert is not only expensive, but it may not be cheap to come by.

Farmers in Michigan have cried foul over lack of labor during the harvesting season thereby leaving the produce to rot in the farms. For example, farmers in Grand Rapids contacted the authorities over the fact that they cannot get enough laborers to do the harvesting of their farms. The most affected crops are tomatoes because they go bad fast. Other affected crops include cucumbers, apples, and cantaloupes.

The number of farmers in the US is declining. In the US, the average American farmer is 58 years old. The younger generation is simply not interested in taking over such farms. Fred Leitz, speaking from Sodus, Michigan, is worried that he could be the last one in his family to engage in farming, and he is worried about who will inherit the farm. Such a problem will affect the entire state because it will not be easy to feed the state.

Possible Solutions

It is therefore important that all stakeholders in the farming sector in Michigan look for viable and sustainable ways of addressing the challenges facing the farmers in the state. One of the most effective ways of addressing these challenges is to increase the opportunities of funding to the Michigan farmers.

The US does not fair badly in economies of scale. However, states such as Michigan need better opportunities if they are to take advantage of economies of scale in their farming endeavours. The state can do this through encouraging mergers across the state.

Public education to the farmers cannot be under-estimated. It is through education that farmers can learn about the best way of making improvements in the agricultural sector. Through public education, residents of Michigan can be converted to take farming which badly needs the employees. In addition to that, through public education, farmers can make an informed decision that they will not regret later.

There are three main solutions to the problem of labor shortage in Michigan farms. To start with, the US should make it easier to pass legislation which is going to allow a significant number of guest workers into the country. The workers do not have to be citizens. Because the farmers may not provide a permanent contract, there should be an agreement that allows the quest workers in the country, and of course, with the right compensation.

The use of technology is one of the surest ways of attracting farm labor. Technology can save on the cost of labor, and it is more reliable than human capital. In addition to that, some types of technology can be used over a number of years. This makes investing in technology a fruitful endeavor.

The US government has no option but to allow some of the illegal immigrants to be documented so that they can apply for work legally. If the illegal immigrants are not encouraged to take part in mainstream economy, they are going to work illegally. Many farmers do not want to take part in illegal labor because it goes against the established laws and regulations. Some of the illegal immigrants have very strong human resource skills which can be tapped in order to benefit the country.

Fire Incidences

Like many other farmers, farmers in Michigan have faced the problem that comes with fires. The following cases are an example:

Berrien County, Michigan: This was the scene of a big barn fire which led to the death of several animals. The killed animals include four llamas, a peacock, and some chicken. A call was made to the the Chikaming Township Fire Department, but by the time the department arrived, it could not do anything to save the affected animals. However, the fire did not spread for a very large area.

Kent County, Michigan: On march 4, firefighter was treated for burns after he was over-whelmed by a fire. Firefighters responded to a fire on 52nd Street SE. Though the firefighters were not able to contain the fire in a timely manner, they were able to contain its spread to the neighboring areas. The affected firefighter was treated. The cause of the fire was not known.

Towards the Future

The Michigan agricultural sector has a lot of potential, and farmers should be prepared for future opportunities. If a farmer is interested in investing in Michigan, he or she can never go wrong. There are ample opportunities in the farming sector and all one needs to do is to check carefully for the same. This can be done through carrying out thorough research on the best farming opportunities.


Farming in the US is an ideal investment. Because many people are shying away from farming, and others are quitting the profession, it translates to less competition in both the short and the long run. Overall, strategic farming carries a high rate of return on investment and is definitely worth consideration.

Michigan Farming News of 2021 Part 1

Michigan Farming News


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:

  • Harmony
  • FirstRate
  • Pursuit and raptor
  • Classic

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
  • Validation
  • 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.

  • Flexibility
  • 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
  • Models
  • 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:

  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B12
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin A
  • Protein

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