Michigan Agriculture Report Part 2

The Michigan Farm Bureau and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have released their latest “Michigan Agriculture Facts & Figures” book, which includes information on 34 agricultural products that contribute more than $104 billion to the state’s economy each year.
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“Michigan Agriculture Facts & Figures” book
The Michigan Farm Bureau and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has released its latest “Michigan Agriculture Facts & Figures” book. // Image courtesy of the Michigan Farm Bureau

The Michigan Farm Bureau and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have released their latest “Michigan Agriculture Facts & Figures” book, which includes information on 34 agricultural products that contribute more than $104 billion to the state’s economy each year.

DBusiness has created a two-part report that summarizes each entry in the book. This is part 2. The full report is available here.


Honey

Producers across Michigan gathered a total of 5.3 million pounds of honey in 2016, ranking Michigan eighth in the nation in honey production with a value of $12 million. The color of honey is a good indicator of how it will taste; the lighter the honey, the milder the flavor, and the darker the honey, the stronger the flavor. Raw or unfiltered honey has more enzymes and nutrients than heated, filtered honey. Local honey has pollens of local flowers that sometimes help allergy sufferers.

Seasonality: Beekeepers usually harvest in summer or early fall, but some continue throughout the year, making Michigan honey available for consumers year-round.

Nutrition: Vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and certain amino acids are present in honey.

Contact: Michigan Beekeepers Association; Phone: 248-921-6601; www.michiganbees.org


Hops

Since its commercial resurgence in approximately 2007, hops have become a fast-growing agricultural commodity in the state of Michigan. Starting with only a few acres and farmers, now there are more than 1,000 acres of hops and 50 farms in the state. Michigan is now the fourth-largest hop growing state in the United States and ranks 14th in the world for hop production. Michigan’s latitude geographically is ideal for optimum growing conditions and allows for top quality hop production, leading to Michigan hops being sold and used in beer making all over the United States, and throughout many regions of the world.

Seasonality: Hops are a perennial crop that are harvested once each year between early August and late September. More than 20 different varieties of hops are grown commercially in the state.

Nutrition: In ancient times, hops were used as a sedative and to control inflammation, diarrhea, and other muscle spasms. Many people have used hops to cure insomnia and anxiety. Hops have many antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

Contact: Hop Growers of Michigan PO Box 122 Cedar, MI 49621 Phone: 248-795-8940 www.hopgrowersofmichigan.com


Maple Syrup

The production of pure maple syrup is the oldest agricultural enterprise in the United States. Forty gallons of maple sap are required to make one gallon of syrup, and maple syrup production in 2016 for Michigan was 90,000 gallons. Michigan is the seventh-largest maple syrup producing state.

Seasonality: Maple syrup is the first farm crop to be harvested in Michigan each year. The maple syrup season in Michigan starts in February in the southern counties and extends into April in the Upper Peninsula.

Nutrition: Pure Michigan maple syrup has50 calories per tablespoon andis fat-free. It has no additives, no added coloring, and no preservatives. Maple syrup has many minerals per tablespoon: 20 milligrams of calcium, 2 milligrams of phosphorus, 0.2 milligrams of iron, 2 milligrams of sodium, and 5 milligrams of potassium.

Contact: Michigan Maple Syrup Association www.mi-maplesyrup.com


Nursery and Landscape

Michigan’s nursery, landscaping, retail garden center, and lawn care industries contribute $5.715 billion to the economy. The economic impact of nursery, perennial plant, Christmas tree, and sod producers is $1.2 billion with distribution to 35 states, Mexico, and Canada, making them the largest specialty crop in Michigan and the fourth-largest nursery industry in the nation. The landscape services and retail sectors in Michigan have an economic impact of $4.5 billion.

Contact: Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association, 2149 Commons Parkway, Okemos, MI 48864; Phone: 517-381-0437; Fax: 517-381-0638; www.mnla.org; www.plantmichigangreen.com


Onions

A majority of Michigan onion production occurs in south central and southern Michigan in the counties of Allegan, Barry, Eaton, Ionia, Kent, Newaygo, Ottawa, and Van Buren. Michigan onion production in 2015 was 79 million pounds. This yielded a total value of $10 million.

Seasonality: In a normal year, early-maturing onions (90 to 100 days) that are seeded in April are ready for harvest by late August. Late-maturing onions (110 to 120 days) mature in mid- to late-September.

Nutrition: Onions are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.

Contact: Michigan Onion Committee, PO Box 367, Mason, MI 48854; Phone: 517-663-6725; www.michiganonion.com


Peaches

Most Michigan peaches are grown in the west central to southwest corner, close to Lake Michigan, with additional production in the east along Lake St. Clair and in the northwest Grand Rapids area. In 2016, Michigan produced more than 21.2 million pounds of peaches valued at more than $9.2 million. Michigan’s Red Haven peaches are famous throughout the country, with recent new Michigan varieties including the southwest Michigan Flamin’ Fury and Stellar peach series gaining popularity.

Seasonality: Fresh peaches are available from early July through mid-September, but processed peaches are available throughout the year.

Nutrition: Peaches are a tasty treat with modest calories; a good source of potassium, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C; low sodium; and contain no saturated fat. Peaches are a healthy snack and a smart, low-calorie way to end a meal.

Contact: Michigan Peach Sponsors, PO Box 1035, Coloma, MI 49038; www.michiganpeach.org


Pork

In 2018, Michigan was home to more than 1.18 million hogs on more than 2,000 farms; the value of Michigan hogs and pigs was $373 million. The Michigan pork industry contributes more than $500 million to the state’s economy each year. Over the last 50 years, the way Michigan pig farmers raise pigs has changed through advancements in technology, economics, and farming methods. Pig farmers have reduced water use by 41 percent, land use by 78 percent, and their carbon footprint by 35 percent. Yet one thing remains constant for farmers: their mission to produce safe, nutritious food in a responsible manner.

Seasonality: Year-round, Michigan’s pig farmers work hard to care for their pigs because raising healthy animals is the first step in providing safe, wholesome pork.

Nutrition: Pork is an excellent source of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, protein, zinc, and potassium. The healthiest cuts of pork are loin roast, tenderloin, chop, and Canadian-style bacon.

Contact: Michigan Pork Producers Association, 3515 West Road, Suite B, East Lansing, MI 48823; Phone: 517-853-3782; www.mipork.org


Potatoes

Potatoes are Michigan’s second leading produce commodity, generating $182.4 million in farm gate sales in 2018 and nearly 1.82 billion pounds of potatoes harvested from as far south as Monroe County to as far north as Iron County in the Upper Peninsula. Michigan is the nation’s leading producer of potatoes for potato chip processing. Montcalm had more harvested acres than any county in Michigan.

Seasonality: The Michigan potato harvest begins in July and ends in October. Potatoes from storage facilities extend the availability of Michigan potatoes almost year-round.

Nutrition: Potatoes are fat-free, rich in potassium, and an excellent source of fiber. Additionally, this vegetable contains half of the daily requirement of vitamin C.

Contact: Michigan Potato Industry Commission, 3515 West Road, Suite A, East Lansing, MI 48823; Phone: 517-253-7370; Fax: 517-253-7373; www.mipotato.com


Poultry

The Michigan poultry industry raises chickens and turkeys for their meat. Michigan produces 8.87 million chicken broilers and 5.3 million turkeys per year. There are 20 chicken farms throughout Michigan; several of them are Amish farms. There are 17 turkey farmers with 53 turkey farms in the state, which all raise toms (males), mostly located in Ottawa County. The turkey industry has a total economic impact of $2.9 billion.

Nutrition: Chicken and turkey are lean, low-fat foods packed with protein. Chicken is a good source of iron and is low in sodium. Turkey is noted as being “the perfect protein” since it has the highest protein level of any meat and is also typically the lowest in fat per serving.

Contact: Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, PO Box 144, Hamilton, MI 49419; Phone: 517-372-5250; www.mipoultry.com


Pumpkins and Squash

In 2016, Michigan generated $9.8 million from the production of 79 million pounds of pumpkins. Michigan pumpkins are used for processing and jack-o-lanterns. In 2016, Michigan produced 146 million pounds of squash for fresh or processed use, totaling $23.9 million.

Seasonality: Pumpkins are typically harvested in Michigan beginning in September through October. Fresh squash season is June through October, but squash can be found throughout the year in processed form.

Nutrition: Pumpkin is full of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta-carotene performs many important functions in overall health. Squash is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It is also a good source of vitamins A, B6, C, and E, thiamin, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, and manganese.

Contact: Michigan Vegetable Council, PO Box 367, Mason, MI 48854; Phone/Fax: 517-663-6725; www.michiganvegetablecouncil.org


Snap Beans

Michigan snap beans are grown in green, purple, and yellow varieties from July through September. Michigan produces fresh and processed snap beans. In 2016, 19,300 acres were planted, with 18,400 harvested, amounting to a total value of $32.1 million. About 25.4 million pounds of fresh beans totaling $15.1 million were sold. 70,650 tons were then processed for a total value of $17 million. Snap beans are one of Michigan’s largest crops and are shipped all around the Midwest.

Seasonality: Snap beans are a warm temperature crop. This type of bean is planted and harvested between June and October.

Nutrition: Snap beans are typically harvested while still in their pods but can be eaten out of the pods. Snap beans are rich in vitamins, containing vitamins A, C, and K. Snap beans are a great source of micronutrients such as iron and potassium and contain trace amounts of protein.

Contact: Michigan Vegetable Council, PO Box 367, Mason, MI 48854; Phone/Fax: 517-663-6725; www.michiganvegetablecouncil.org


Soybeans

Michigan produced 109 million bushels of soybeans in 2018, a value of $941 million. Soybeans are also Michigan’s top food export. In 2018, $185 million of Michigan soybeans were exported around the world. Popular soybean products include soy milk, soy flour, soy protein, and tofu. Soybeans are processed for animal feed, human consumption, and industrial products.

Seasonality: Soybeans are planted in spring and are harvested in late fall. Processed soyfoods can be consumed year-round.

Nutrition: Soybeans are an excellent source of protein and are packed with vitamins and nutrients such as folate and potassium. Soyfoods can be used as a replacement for meat as a source of protein in vegetarian diets.

Contact: Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, PO Box 287, Frankenmuth, MI 48734; Phone: 989-652-3294; Toll-Free: 877-769-6424; www.michigansoybean.org


Sugarbeets

Each year, up to 160,000 acres of sugarbeets, totaling roughly 4.5 million tons, are planted and harvested by the nearly 900 grower-owners of Michigan Sugar Co. The sugarbeets are processed at factories in Bay City, Caro, Croswell, and Sebewaing and turned into 1.3 billion pounds of sugar. The company has a direct economic impact of approximately $500 million for the state of Michigan and an indirect impact of $1.5 billion. At the processing facilities, a series of separations extract the naturally occurring sugar from the beets. The extraction process involves washing, slicing, diffusion, filtration, crystallization, drying and cooling. The resulting sugar is packaged into bags of various weights and shipped to customers. Michigan Sugar Co. is the third-largest of nine sugarbeet processing companies in the United States, and Michigan is one of 11 states where sugarbeets are grown.

Seasonality: Sugarbeet seeds are planted in the early spring and reach maturity in about six months. Michigan Sugar Co. has growers in about 20 Michigan counties, as well as Ontario, Canada.

Nutrition: The sugar extracted from sugarbeets has 15 calories per teaspoon with zero grams of fat. Sugar is used to make baked goods, cereals, yogurt, and many other sweet treats.

Contact: Michigan Sugar Co., 122 Uptown Drive, Suite 300, Bay City, MI 48708; Phone: 989-686-0161; Fax: 989-671-3719; www.michigansugar.com


Sweet Corn

Michigan sweet corn is enjoyed throughout the state in several varieties. In 2016, Michigan produced 86 million pounds of sweet corn for the fresh market worth $21.8 million.

Seasonality: Fresh Michigan sweet corn is available July through September.

Nutrition: Sweet corn is rich in vitamin C, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, and fiber.

Contact: Michigan Vegetable Council, PO Box 367, Mason, MI 48854; Phone/Fax: 517-663-6725; www.michiganvegetablecouncil.org


Tomatoes

Michigan grows tomatoes for both fresh and processed uses. In 2016, Michigan produced 120,100 tons of tomatoes for processing and 74 million pounds of tomatoes for fresh market. The total value was $48.4 million.

Seasonality: Fresh tomatoes are available in August and September. Processed tomatoes can be purchased throughout the year.

Nutrition: Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins C and A and are high in the antioxidant lycopene. They are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and manganese.

Contact: Michigan Vegetable Council, PO Box 367, Mason, MI 48854; Phone/Fax: 517-663-6725; www.michiganvegetablecouncil.org


Wheat

Michigan farmers produced 35.7 million bushels of wheat in 2018 for an economic impact of $180 million. Wheat is grown on about 500,000 acres across the Great Lakes State and in 75 of Michigan’s 83 counties. Huron, Sanilac, Tuscola, Lenawee, and Shiawassee are Michigan’s top wheat-producing counties. Michigan harvests both red and white varieties of wheat, which are used for baked goods, cookies, crackers, and pastries. Wheat is also a thickening ingredient for foods like licorice, gravies, soups, and sauces.

Seasonality: Michigan farmers grow winter wheat. Both red and white wheat are planted in the fall and harvested the next summer. Michigan has six large commercial mills that process wheat into a variety of products.

Nutrition: Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins C and A and are high in the antioxidant lycopene. They are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and manganese.

Contact: Michigan Vegetable Council, PO Box 367, Mason, MI 48854; Phone/Fax: 517-663-6725; www.michiganvegetablecouncil.org


Wood

With a rich history of forests and forest products, Michigan has 20 million acres of sustainably managed forests and is the 5th largest timberland in the nation, growing nearly twice what is harvested. Michigan’s four million acres of state-owned forests, the most in the lower 48 states, are sustainably managed with dual certification to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standards. Forests in Michigan are managed for timber production, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, biodiversity conservation, and recreation. Michigan’s growing forest product sector contributes $20 billion to Michigan’s economy annually and supports 91,000 total jobs, 6 percent of Michigan’s manufacturing jobs. In 2018, Michigan exported more than $560 million of wood and paper products to the rest of the world.

Contact: Michigan Forest Products Council, 110 W. Michigan Ave., Suite 100, Lansing, MI 48933; Phone: 517-853-8880; Fax: 517-853-1093; www.michiganforest.com

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