Robbie Feinberg

For decades, farms in Michigan have raised hops to create that distinctive bitter flavor in your beer. Nearly all of those farms have been tiny -- just one or two acre plots. Now, though, that model is changing, fast. As the market for craft beer in Michigan keeps exploding, hops farms are growing, too. And they're changing what it means for a beer to be truly "made in Michigan."

Severe weather hammered Michigan fruit crops in some recent years, but growers expect sizable harvests of apples, blueberries and cherries in 2015. Farmers across the state are seeing healthy bud growth on fruit trees, said Kevin Robson, an associate horticulture specialist with the Michigan Farm Bureau in Lansing. “Mother Nature has been very generous with us,” Robson said. “While there are always some uncertainties, everything is looking really good coming out of the winter.” (Detroit News)

A new climate strategy for agriculture was announced at Michigan State University on Thursday in East Lansing by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The program, "Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry", consists of ten aspects. Many of the changes are voluntary and come from the Farm Bill, signed into law last year. If farmers follow the suggestions, there are incentives such as grants, low-interest loans and technical assistance. (MLive)

Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture are the lead agencies investigating the matter

Department of Environmental Quality says practice is allowed under agricultural practices