- Agricultural Leaders of Michigan: Promoting Michigan agriculture's power and potential
"The things that we focus on tend to be pretty big picture," she says. "Trade is a big issue for them." Statewide infrastructure is a main focus of ALM, Byrum says, including broad topics such as roads, bridges, railroads, ports and waterways.
- MSU and Detroit plant seed for urban food system innovation
Detroit, a postindustrial city, has its weaknesses including abandoned properties and liability issues, but Foster is hopeful. "Detroit is a very unique city," he says. "We could actually be a global thought leader for cities around the world."
- Detroit, MSU partnering on global food system innovation
"I'm pleased that MSU has chosen Detroit as a partner from an innovation standpoint," says Bing. "MSU is trying to help us utilize the resources we have to feed Detroiters and Michiganders, and to export food around the globe."
- USDA Conservation Financial Assistance Available for SE Michigan Farmers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making conservation financial assistance available to farmers in southeast Michigan as part of an effort to improve water quality in Lake Erie. Farmers have until April 27, 2012 to apply for the assistance at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office.
- Wine that not only pleases the palate, but boosts Michiganís economy
Viticulturist Robin Usborne offers techniques for growing robust wine-ready grapes and picking out the right Michigan wine to pair with holiday meals.
Chris Peterson: Michigan holds strong potential to lead the bioeconomy
- Chris Peterson talks with Kirk Heinze on WJR
Another plus is that Michigan didn’t over-invest in corn-based ethanol and biodiesel plants, says Chris Peterson, director of the MSU Product Center.
“Michigan has geographic advantages over other states in terms of diverse feedstocks, underutilized forestry resources and vast water resources,” says Peterson, who is also an MSU AgBioResearch scientist. “A thriving bioeconomy is not a certainty, but Michigan has the ability to shape its own future and has significant opportunities to expand its bioeconomy and advance its position on the global bioeconomy market.”
Michigan ranks in the top third of states in commercial ethanol and biodiesel crops and now hosts five ethanol plants. Its first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, one of only seven in the country, is under construction. A number of smaller-scale anaerobic digester facilities, turning animal and other waste into methane, also are in use while MSU researchers work to make the technology more broadly accessible.
The state currently ranks in the top fifth in ethanol consumption and electricity production from biomass. Michigan grows more than 19 million acres of forest, a 6 percent increase since 1980. More than 1.7 million megawatt hours of electricity are produced from burning woody biomass at 10 plants, Peterson says.
“Honestly, there are other states that are more competitive with respect to corn biomass, but Michigan’s diverse crop mix and strong timberland resources puts the state in an excellent position if cellulosic ethanol becomes commercially viable,” he says.
Click on the arrow above to hear Peterson's February 13 Greening of the Great Lakes conversation with Kirk Heinze. Greening of the Great Lakes airs Sunday evenings at 9 on News/Talk 760 WJR.
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