Michigan dairy processing expands

 

An illustration of Foremost Farms’ new dairy processing plant in Michigan.

By Jessie Cameron
MAA
Michigan dairy processors are rapidly increasing capacity as two new dairy processing facilities will be built during the next few years while a current site is expanding.
In April, Agropur Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian-based Agropur Cooperative, announced plans to put $21.3 million into its current plant in Wyoming, Mich., by adding new equipment and making modifications to the facilities. Foremost Farms is building a new $59.7 million processing facility in Greenville, while a partnership with Glanbia plc, Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers Inc. is working together on a plan to bring a new processing facility online in 2020.
Michigan ranks sixth nationally in milk production. The state produces 33 million pounds of milk daily, but currently has processing capacity for just 26 million pounds a day. Increasing milk processing capacity is a must to help Michigan’s dairy industry to keep growing, according to industry and economic leaders.

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Poinsettia season in bloom

By Nikki Kallio
MAA

At favorite grocery and home stores, it’s time for consumers to find the bright red, pretty pink or soft white blooms of poinsettias — and maybe some showy blue and purple glittery ones.

Growers know the poinsettia is a fairly steady holiday favorite with consumers, but it’s maybe not the plant they most look forward to growing. Poinsettias are not considered a profitable crop, said Erik Runkle, a horticulture professor with the Michigan State University Extension.

“Poinsettias take a long time to grow,” he said. “They’re starting to grow these usually in August and they’re not selling until sometime in November. And let’s face it, the price is fairly low, considering the amount of space they take up in the greenhouse.”

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Agriculture groups part of new Michigan water coalition

By MAA

Michigan leaders have formed a unique new coalition working to improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

The Michigan Cleaner Lake Erie through Action and Research (MI CLEAR) Partnership includes farmers, agricultural and environmental leaders, universities, conservationists, landscape professionals, energy leaders, tourism and economic development interests, and more. Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Jamie Clover Adams said she was encouraged to call the diverse membership to the table as a new way to tackle the ongoing water quality challenges affecting the basin.

“Our mission is to improve the water quality of the Western Lake Erie Basin through open discussion among regional leaders that brings a coordinated perspective to existing efforts,” Clover Adams said. “We will drive support for research that builds understanding of the science around water quality issues, and promote actions that bring long-term, meaningful change.”

She added the MI CLEAR Partnership will promote awareness of science and research-based efforts aimed at improving the health of Lake Erie, and provide quantifiable metrics and unbiased information about Michigan’s efforts to preserve and protect the WLEB’s waters.

In addition to MDARD, other members of the MI CLEAR Partnership:

  • Michigan Farm Bureau
  • University of Michigan Water Center, Graham Sustainability Institute
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
  • The Nature Conservancy – Michigan Chapter
  • Monroe County Drain Commission
  • Michigan Agribusiness Association (MABA)
  • DTE Energy
  • Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • American WaterWorks – Michigan Chapter
  • Michigan State University Extension Institute of Water Research and Technology
  • Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation