Michigan Department of Agriculture http://michiganradio.org en Changes could be on horizon for backyard farmers http://michiganradio.org/post/changes-could-be-horizon-backyard-farmers <p>Many small and urban farms could lose the protection of Michigan's Right to Farm Act.</p><p>The Act protects farmers against nuisance lawsuits if they follow Michigan's Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPS).</p><p>The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development wants to exclude farms with fewer than 50 animals from Right to Farm protection if those farms are in areas zoned exclusively residential.</p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 21:45:09 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16119 at http://michiganradio.org Changes could be on horizon for backyard farmers State health officials report first human case this year of H3N2 flu http://michiganradio.org/post/state-health-officials-report-first-human-case-year-h3n2-flu <p>State health officials say Michigan has recorded its first human case this year of a potentially serious pig-borne flu virus.</p><p></p><p>The child who fell ill with H3N2 is recovering.&nbsp;&nbsp; The child was showing swine at the Berrien County Youth Fair earlier this month.</p><p></p><p>H3N2 is carried by swine.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When a person catches this flu bug, it’s like any other form of influenza.&nbsp;&nbsp; The infected person can develop a fever, runny nose or cough.&nbsp; Also like the regular flu, the symptoms can become serious.</p><p></p> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 16:10:44 +0000 Steve Carmody 14190 at http://michiganradio.org State health officials report first human case this year of H3N2 flu In this morning's news: Bankruptcy objections filed, Pontiac EM resigns, 'smoke-free' law clarified http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-bankruptcy-objections-filed-pontiac-em-resigns-smoke-free-law-clarified <p><strong>Dozens of objections to Detroit's bankruptcy filed yesterday</strong></p><p>Yesterday was the deadline for creditors to file objections to the city of Detroit’s request for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. A flood of objections was filed by unions, pensioners, and others. The objections argued that the city is not insolvent, that it failed to negotiate with creditors in good faith before filing for bankruptcy, and that the filing violates constitutional protections for public pensions. Judge Steven Rhodes will review the claims. He has scheduled an October hearing to determine the city’s eligibility for bankruptcy protection, according to Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett.</p><p><strong>Pontiac's financial emergency officially over</strong></p><p>Pontiac’s nearly five-year-long financial emergency is<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/state-says-financial-emergency-pontiac-over-lists-5-reasons-why"> officially resolved</a>. The city has made some<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/pontiac-financial-emergency-resolved-very-different-city-emerges"> major changes </a>in the past five years, including cutting the general fund budget by half and merging the fire department with nearby Waterford.</p><p>“Emergency manager Lou Schimmel resigned yesterday, saying the city’s financial emergency is ‘resolved.’ But the state will still have a heavy hand in Pontiac’s finances. A Transition Advisory Board appointed by Governor Snyder will have to approve all major budget decisions,” Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek reports.</p><p><strong>Restaurants can have outdoor smoking areas under 'smoke-free' law</strong></p><p>“The Michigan Department of Agriculture says <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/no-smoking-rules-loosened-restaurant-and-bar-outdoor-areas">outdoor smoking areas</a> are OK, as long as employees don’t have to wait on customers in those spaces. That means no food or drinks - unless patrons are allowed to bring them in themselves. Director Jamie Clover Adams says the state’s ‘smoke-free’ law was unclear when it comes to outdoor smoking sections. The Michigan Restaurant Association says it does not expect many establishments to allow smoking in outdoor areas because cutting food and beverage services in those spaces would be too costly for most restaurants,” Jake Neher reports.</p><p> Tue, 20 Aug 2013 13:07:14 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14061 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Bankruptcy objections filed, Pontiac EM resigns, 'smoke-free' law clarified Financial help could be coming for Michigan's fruit farmers http://michiganradio.org/post/financial-help-could-be-coming-michigans-fruit-farmers <p>Fruit growers and processors in Michigan might get some help in the form of low interest loans if an expected package of bills moves through the legislature.</p><p>The loans are aimed at providing relief to those who lost most of their fruit crops after an unusual spring warm spell was followed by extended freezing temperatures.</p><p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2012/05/fruit_growers_and_processors_m.html#incart_river_default">MLive</a> reports Michigan Department of Agriculture Director Keith Creagh said today the bills would create &quot;five-year low interest loans&quot;:</p><blockquote><p>The loans, which will be administered by banks and agricultural lenders, will meet an estimated total economic need of some $300 million in the state&rsquo;s fruit growing and processing industry, Creagh said while attending the Michigan Food Processing and Agribusiness Summit.</p><p>Securing the loan guarantees at a low interest rate of 1 percent or 2 percent could cost the state about $15 million, Creagh said. The 5-year loans would be structured so borrowers would only pay interest in the first two years, he said.</p></blockquote><p>Creagh says he&#39;ll also seek federal financial support for Michigan fruit growers and processors. Wed, 23 May 2012 16:06:25 +0000 Mark Brush 7580 at http://michiganradio.org Financial help could be coming for Michigan's fruit farmers Can wasps squash the stink bug plague? http://michiganradio.org/post/can-wasps-squash-stink-bug-plague Home is where the heart is. It's also probably where a lot of stink bugs are right now, crawling out from cracks and crevices. They were introduced into Allentown, Pa., from Asia in the 1990s and have been spreading ever since, reaching seemingly plaguelike proportions in the mid-Atlantic states. But an experiment is under way to reintroduce the stink bug to its mortal enemy: a parasitic Asian wasp.<p>The shield-shaped brown marmorated stink bugs descended on the mid-Atlantic region with the fury of a plague last year. Thu, 28 Apr 2011 13:00:08 +0000 Sabri Ben-Achour 2258 at http://michiganradio.org Can wasps squash the stink bug plague? Invasive brown marmorated stink bugs found in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/invasive-brown-marmorated-stink-bugs-found-michigan <p>The Michigan Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of invasive brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) in two Michigan counties. The bugs were discovered by students from Michigan State University.</p><p>Jennifer Holton is with the Michigan Department of Agriculture. She says the bugs can do damage to the types of fruits and vegetables grown in Michigan. The damage makes them difficult to sell.&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p><em>And what is does is... a little bit of character distortion on the fruit, what they refer to as cat facing, and that makes the fruit, or the vegetable, if there may be one, unmarketable for the fresh market. </em></p></blockquote><p>You can find more information about identifying BMSB at the <a href="http://michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1572_28248-250475--,00.html">Michigan Department of Agriculture website</a>.</p><p>Holton also suggested never moving firewood and to contact your local <a href="http://www.msue.msu.edu/portal/">Michigan State University extension office</a> if you think you found a brown marmorated stink bug.</p><p>-Bridget Bodnar, <em>Michigan Radio Newsroom</em> Fri, 04 Feb 2011 21:24:08 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 1179 at http://michiganradio.org Invasive brown marmorated stink bugs found in Michigan