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Michigan specialty crop farms see increase in 2022 Census

The latest Ag Census finds Michigan has lost more than 2,000 farms and nearly 300,000 acres of farmland since 2017, but there were some surprising increases. NASS Director for the Great Lakes Region Marlo Johnson tells Brownfield, “The number of farms and land and... Read More.

KDA accepting applications for 2024 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has opened the application period for the 2024 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. KDA says the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will award funds to projects and organizations that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and make a positive impact... Read More.

Specialty crop growers turn to tech solutions at GL Expo

Specialty crop growers are eyeing how technology can cut labor needs at this year’s Great Lakes Expo. Michigan Vegetable Council Executive Director Greg Bird tells Brownfield farmers feel defeated by the lack of improvements and rising costs that come with using the H-2A season... Read More.

USDA releases new Specialty Crop Competitiveness Initiative

The USDA has announced enhanced efforts to support growers through the Specialty Crop Competitiveness Initiative. Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small says the process started with a department-wide audit of how it currently supports the sector. “We’ve used that information as well as feedback from industry... Read More.

H-2A hikes putting specialty crop production at risk

A dramatic increase in labor costs has changed what specialty crops are being grown in one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the country.  Great Lakes Ag Labor Services General Manager Sarah Black tells Brownfield continued increases in H-2A guest worker wages... Read More.

Illinois projects to be funded through Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has awarded the Illinois Department of Agriculture more than $544,000 through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The money will fund eight projects within the state designed to create new market opportunities for Illinois specialty crops. More than $100,000 will... Read More.

Specialty crop funding surpasses $1 billion

The USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program has topped $1 billion in investments across the country. The latest round of funding for the program will award nearly $79 million in specialty crop grants to enhance their competitiveness and support American growers. The agency says almost... Read More.

Farmer says southern Illinois specialty crop conditions are mixed

A southern Illinois farmer says specialty crop conditions are a mixed bag this season. Steve Borcherding grows sweet corn, peaches, and strawberries with his wife Karen in Iuka. He tells Brownfield an early summer drought challenged their sweet corn. “But with some timely irrigation... Read More.

USDA expands insurance coverage options for specialty crops

The USDA is expanding its insurance coverage options for specialty crops. Risk Management Agency administrator Marcia Bunger says enterprise units, which allow a producer to insure all acres of an insured crop in the county together, will be available to more crops, including alfalfa... Read More.

Specialty crop growers say farm bill is woefully short

Specialty crop growers stressed their needs for the 2023 Farm Bill during a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday. Charles Wingard is Vice President of Field Operations for his family’s fresh vegetable operation Walter P. Rawl which farms across South Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan,... Read More.