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WEST OLIVE — October is a month of harvesting, providing a plethora of fruits and vegetables to local homes, and many of those products come from Ottawa County – one of the most diverse agricultural counties in the state.

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For the majority of the spring season, Ottawa County farmers watched as their crops became desiccated in one of the more historically dry seasons across West Michigan due to the lack of rain.

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WEST OLIVE — Ottawa County’s farming industry faces unique challenges, including farmland loss and a lack of new farmers entering the industry.

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CROCKERY TWP. — Fingers went on noses when Jim and Evonne Erhorn asked their three sons and their wives which one of them would be the next generation to live on the family’s recently designated sesquicentennial farm in Crockery Township.

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Ottawa County’s unique farmland produces a variety of different goods and commodities.

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BLENDON TWP. — Passed down from one generation to the next, family heirlooms are a legacy. For some, an heirloom is a bracelet or pocket watch. For others, it’s a classic car.

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More than 550 Michigan farms produce nearly 100 million pounds of quality fresh and frozen blueberries annually. But the recent explosive growth in imports, unfair trade practices and market-price manipulation strategically timed to undermine domestic growers at their peak harvest has taken …

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This past year has been one of extremes, including a polar vortex, late-season snow, high water levels and winds and early winter weather setting in around Halloween.

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The weather challenges that delayed planting this past spring continue to haunt producers this fall as heavy rains throughout September and October, and now early snowfall in November, interfere with harvest activity, according to Michigan Farm Bureau field crops specialist Theresa Sisung.

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ROBINSON TWP. — Many local farmers and others interested in the industry gathered at Spring Meadow Nursery on Friday to learn some statistics and plans for farming.

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ROBINSON TWP. — Ottawa County may be one of the fastest-growing counties in Michigan, but over the past few years it has seen a loss in farms and acreage, according to Becky Huttenga, economic development coordinator for the county.

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Although National Farm Safety and Health Week has come to a close, those who work on farms and in similar settings should always keep safety in mind.

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LANSING — One of Michigan’s wettest planting seasons in history forced Doug Darling to leave about two-thirds of his Monroe County farmland unplanted. And the corn, soybeans and wheat he managed to plant in between downpours? He doesn’t expect any of it to grow up normally. The soil moisture…

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The rainy beginning of the summer was a downer for most people, but those gloomy days made for a bigger, better blueberry crop today, according to Chad Reenders.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for a sweeping agriculture bill that will fund key farm safety net programs for the next five years without making significant changes to the food stamp program.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is moving to allow year-round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol, a boon for Iowa and other farm states that have pushed for greater sales of the corn-based fuel.

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John Zysk has been selling apples at the Grand Haven Farmers Market since the 1990s. And, shortly after 3 p.m. this past Wednesday, he was still making sales hours after the market had closed for the day. 

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It’s harvesting season for blueberries in Michigan, and Ottawa County is one of the state’s leaders in the industry.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Even before the specter of a trade war with China and other countries threatened to cost them billions of dollars, American farmers were feeling the squeeze from fluctuating crop prices and other factors that have halved their overall income in recent years.

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With the wolves of Isle Royale National Park on the verge of dying out, federal officials Thursday announced a plan to relocate 20-30 of the elusive predators from the mainland to the Lake Superior archipelago over the next several years, starting as early as this fall.

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Despite the extended cold temperatures earlier this spring, West Michigan fruit farmers are looking forward to a good season.

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COOPERSVILLE — U.S. Sen. Gary Peters visited Dream Winds Dairy farm on Friday to announce new, bipartisan legislation to preserve loans used by small farmers to start and grow their operations.

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MINNEAPOLIS — Tens of thousands of soybean and cotton farmers across the country are taking free but mandatory training in how to properly use a weed killer blamed for drifting and damaging crops in neighboring fields.

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With the recent drop in temperatures, the impending threat of some light frost in the air, and whispers of potential snow, local farmers are beginning to switch gears to prepare for the cold months.

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PARK TWP. — The Ottawa County Fair opened Monday to crowds of families coming to join the fun.