2017 Survey of Specialty Crop Growers in Michigan and Ohio
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Specialty crops are an important component of the economy in the upper Midwest, with the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture valuing them at $4.7 billion. The states of Michigan and Ohio produce a diversity of annual and perennial specialty crops ranging from fruits, vegetables, greenhouse and nursery crops (see box insert for definition of specialty crops). Growing specialty crops in Michigan and Ohio in the past few years has been full of both promising opportunities and persistent challenges. Growers of specialty crops have benefited from increasing interest in “local food” from consumers and food businesses, and the continued emphasis from experts on the importance of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. At the same time, weather events—including highly variable and extreme precipitation, temperatures, and concerns about human and environmental health have also increased social and market demands for food grown with minimal use of agricultural chemicals and exerted pressure on growers to continually evaluate and update their practices.
Han, Guang; Schoolman, Ethan D.; Wright Morton, Lois; and Arbuckle, J. G., "2017 Survey of Specialty Crop Growers in Michigan and Ohio" (2018). Extension and Outreach Publications. 398.
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