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Economy

Number of Michigan farms continue to decline

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A new report says more than 5,000 Michigan farms have closed since 2012.

 

 

 

Officials said the decline isn’t a recent peculiarity: the number of farms in the state has been decreasing for nearly a decade. Recently, though, it comes at a tough time for farmers. One of Michigan’s top crops - soy - is at a record surplus nationwide. Its surplus and subsequent price drop is due to increased production and the U.S. - China trade war.

Christian Tollini will take over in July as the agricultural educator for the Michigan State University Extension office in Presque Isle. He said the shrinking number of farms isn’t bad news only for farmers.

“These are family businesses. They rely on the land here. And if we were to lose agriculture in these rural communities, it would be a big loss for the community as a whole because that’s one less industry that is apart of the local community.”

Tollini said many farmers have had to seek part-time jobs in their communities to sustain their farms.