Michigan finalist named in Rural Entrepreneur Challenge

A love for farming and craft beer has led to a new business opportunity for a Mid-Michigan couple who are now finalists in a national competition. Closely following the expansion of Michigan’s craft beer industry, John Enderle, who farms just north of Lansing, and his partner Julie Baker, a small business planner, decided to put… Read more »

Farm Bureau Entrepreneur finalists announced

Four finalists have been named in the 2016 Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. Michigan finalist Julie Baker from the Fedora Malthouse tells Brownfield agriculture is a difficult business to break into and the competition is helping make it a possibility. “It’s almost cost prohibitive so the fact they’re really getting people started at a young… Read more »

Harvesting the new ‘it’ crop, hops

Just 400 acres of hops production in Michigan has made it the fourth largest hops producer in the nation. Pam Miller with Hopyards of Kent, just north of Grand Rapids, says in the last four years they’ve grown to supply more than 10 states in the Midwest because of the growing demand for craft beer. She tells… Read more »

Nestle’ the largest dairy processor in North America

With sales of $9.7 million, Nestle USA was the largest dairy processor in North America last year. The annual Dairy 100 list from Dairy Foods magazine says Nestle nudged-out Dean Foods at $9.5 million in sales. Saputo is third on the list with sales of $8 million last year, Land O’ Lakes and Dairy Farmers… Read more »

Electrical maintenance this fall

One of Michigan’s largest electricity providers recommends farmers take time to preform preventative maintenance of electrical equipment this fall. Jim Baisden with Consumers Energy tells Brownfield dust, dirt, moisture and heat are major factors in electrical equipment failures.  “Keep covers on electrical equipment; keep them closed; also visually inspect your equipment on a regular basis… Read more »

FFA program teaches environmental verification

Students at Charlotte High School are learning about environmental stewardship by walking through the same risk assessments as area farmers. Nick Thompson, one of the agriscience instructors at the Mid-Michigan high school, says this year the program’s hoop house finalized cropping verification with the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). “We were all and all… Read more »

Slightly higher pork supplies in 2016

An ag economist says the pork industry will see slightly higher supplies in 2016. Purdue’s Chris Hurt says the industry is estimating a 1 percent increase for next year.  “The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus was the big event for pork supplies a year ago in 2014 but we’ve largely worked through that and returned largely… Read more »

Educating poultry producers about avian influenza

A poultry veterinarian is working to educate poultry producers on tightening biosecurity to prevent an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Ohio.  Ohio State University Extension’s Dr. Mohamed El-Gazzar says HPAI presents two main types of challenges – the virus itself and the logistics of disease control. Extension is working with producers to learn… Read more »

Some yields have been surprising

Harvest is in full swing and southwest Indiana farmer Don Villwock says farmers have been surprised at yields.  “After going through all the monsoons, I think we were really expecting the worst to happen,” he says.  “We’ve been surprised at the yield – especially on the high ground.” Villwock also farms in the river bottoms… Read more »

Conserving nutrients while protecting water quality

A conservation consultant says managing subsurface drainage fields leads to improved water quality but it’s not something most farmers do. Tom VanWagner, who consults with the Lenawee Conservation District in Michigan’s southeast, tells Brownfield he’s helping farmers counteract nutrient runoff by retrofitting existing field tile lines.  “This is where we locate what they call a drainage… Read more »