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The principal crops


Agriculture of Michigan
Agriculture of Michigan

The principal crops grown in Michigan in the late 1990s were corn, soybeans, vegetables, sugarbeets, wheat, and fruit. Sales of greenhouse and nursery products are the other leading source of crop income, producing cash sales roughly equal to those of corn. The state leads the nation in the production of cucumbers, and is behind only North Dakota in the amount of dry beans grown. Other important vegetable crops are celery, asparagus, snap beans, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions. In fruits Michigan is especially outstanding. The state is first in the nation in the production of sour cherries; it is also a leading producer of sweet cherries, apples, grapes, peaches, plums, and strawberries.

In 2008 there were 55,000 farms in Michigan. Some 41 percent of the farms produced more than $10,000 in annual sales. Farmland occupied 4 million hectares (10 million acres). Cropland occupied 22 percent of the state’s total land area, and pasture another 5 percent. Three-fifths of agricultural income comes from crop sales and the rest from sales of livestock and livestock products. Dairy farming was the most economically important livestock sector in 1997.

The bulk of the agricultural activity is centered in the Lower Peninsula. Orchards and vegetable farms are concentrated in a belt about 50 km (about 30 mi) wide running along Lake Michigan from the Indiana border northward to Grand Traverse Bay and Charlevoix. Michigan’s thumb and the Saginaw Lowlands, in the southeastern section of the Lower Peninsula, are noted for the production of soybeans, sugar beets, navy beans, and wheat.

Another specialized kind of farming is seen around Holland, where, appropriately, tulip bulbs are raised. The farms of southern Michigan, adjacent to the Corn Belt, raise corn, wheat, and oats for cash. Dairying is important, as are beef cattle, hogs, and chickens.

In the Superior Upland many of the farms are classed as residential or part-time farms, in which farm income is supplemented by outside income, mainly from mining, lumbering, and tourism. The leading form of agriculture in the Upper Peninsula, especially its eastern portion, is dairy farming. In the western segment, hay, oats, and potatoes are raised and much of farm income stems from dairying. This pattern is repeated in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula. "Michigan" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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