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PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 


Feeding hungry families, on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: The newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we'll return first thing Friday.)


2020Talks - November 25, 2020 


CORRECTED 2:30pm MST 11/25 - Linda Thomas-Greenfield would be the second Black woman in US UN Ambassador role, Susan Rice was the first. Biden nominees speak; how can social media spread less misinformation and be less polarizing. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

Where Are Michigan's Organic Apples? Groups Say "Ask Congress"

PHOTO: Many health-conscious Michiganders like to buy organic fruits and vegetables and buy them locally, but Congress' inability to pass a farm bill could make it a bit more difficult.
PHOTO: Many health-conscious Michiganders like to buy organic fruits and vegetables and buy them locally, but Congress' inability to pass a farm bill could make it a bit more difficult.
November 28, 2012

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Many health-conscious Michiganders like to buy organic fruits and vegetables and buy them locally, but Congress' inability to pass a national Farm Bill could make it a little more difficult. That's because farmers who grow organic get a bit of a boost from the federal government in paying for the cost of organic certification.

On their farm near Traverse City, Chris Bardenhagen's family is just about finished transitioning their tart-cherry orchards to organic. He says most of the cost is up front, because farmers need to invest in soil enhancers, equipment and extra labor.

"You have to be doing all-organic practices for three years before it can be certified organic, so you have high initial costs, your yield goes down, and you're getting conventional prices instead of the organic premium."

Bardenhagen says some farmers won't even try to grow organic apples because Michigan's rainfall and high humidity make it difficult. Programs such as organic-certification cost sharing may be just the incentive they need to give it a try.

Bardenhagen says growing organic apples is difficult but not impossible.

"Especially the Midwest and the Northeast are, you know, really, really challenging for organics with apples. So there's only - you know, I don't know - a few hundred acres in Michigan of organic apples."

The fate of the cost-sharing program for organic farmers is up in the air because the Farm Bill has stalled in Congress, with the end of the lame-duck session fast approaching.

More information is at SustainableAgriculture.net.

Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - MI