Market development for climate-smart grains in Michigan.

Michigan farmers have the opportunity to participate in the state’s climate-smart commodity grant program, which aims to develop markets for food-grade grains. Star of the West Sustainability Director, Lisa Woodke, states that 25,000 acres of wheat, dry beans, and food-grade oats and soybeans are eligible for this five-year project.

The grant program involves sharing data on these specific crops and receiving a soil health assessment. Farmers who have been implementing sustainable practices and have high soil health assessments will be rewarded accordingly. Woodke emphasizes the importance of marketing climate-smart commodities to end users, highlighting the need for consumers to be willing to pay a premium for these products.

Although the program is open to all farmers in the state, crops must be delivered to a Star of the West facility. Additionally, the company provides a climate-smart advisor to assist farmers with data management and identifying opportunities for growing additional climate-smart crops.

Woodke will be presenting opportunities at the upcoming Food-Grade Grains Field Day on June 19 at the Michigan State University Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners. This event aims to showcase the benefits and potential of climate-smart agriculture practices in the state.

Overall, the initiative seeks to encourage sustainable farming practices and establish a market for climate-smart grains in Michigan. By participating in this program, farmers can contribute to environmental conservation efforts while also potentially increasing their bottom line.

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