Planning for potential business disasters vital

By Dave Coggins
For MAA
Recent news showcased how more than 50 dairy farms were nearly devastated by the Canadian trade policies that forced Grassland Dairy Products to drop them as patrons. While that roller-coaster experience has ended with nearly all of the affected farms finding new processors, it should serve as a wake-up call for every farm owner to plan for the unthinkable.
Most farmers are well-equipped in terms of insuring their business against potential acts of nature. But many are not so prepared for other types of disasters that warrant having a “Plan B” if they want their business to survive.
While it’s human nature to want to avoid the unthinkable, planning for all types of disasters is a crucial part of farming operations.

Continue reading “Planning for potential business disasters vital”

Planning for potential business disasters is vital

By Dave Coggins
For MAA

Recent news showcased how more than 50 dairy farms were nearly devastated by the Canadian trade policies that forced Grassland Dairy Products to drop them as patrons. While that roller-coaster experience has ended with nearly all of the affected farms finding new processors, it should serve as a wake-up call for every farm owner to plan for the unthinkable.

Most farmers are well-equipped in terms of insuring their business against potential acts of nature. But many are not so prepared for other types of disasters that warrant having a “Plan B” if they want their business to survive.

While it’s human nature to want to avoid the unthinkable, planning for all types of disasters is a crucial part of farming operations.

Continue reading “Planning for potential business disasters is vital”

Blueberry growers under intense pressure

By Nikki Kallio
MAA

When Elizabeth White teamed up with the USDA in 1910 to grow blueberry hybrids on her New Jersey farm, it was the beginning of an industry that would eventually have a notable impact on the southwest lakeshore of Michigan.

Growers eventually discovered Michigan’s acidic soil, combined with the moderating effect of the lake on climate, was ideal for blueberry crops. By World War II, the state had a sizable blueberry industry that continued to expand, said Mark Longstroth, Michigan State University Extension small-fruit educator.

In 2014, the state ranked first in acreage of blueberry production. Michigan is consistently one of the top producers of blueberries in the nation, along with Washington and Georgia, according to the USDA.

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Displaced dairies find home for their milk

By MAA
Three processors in Minnesota have stepped up to accept milk from 10 Minnesota farms whose milk buyer gave notice it would no longer take those farms’ milk after April.
The move came as Canada changed its pricing regarding ultra-filtered milk coming from the United States, which caused Canadian buyers to cancel their contracts with U.S. processors. In addition to Minnesota, farmers in Wisconsin and New York have also been affected.
The Minnesota Milk Producers Association worked as a facilitator to raise awareness and connect resources to help producers find a new home for their milk.

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