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Taking a Closer Look at Michigan’s Dry Beans

Posted by Marlo D. Johnson, NASS Regional Director of the Great Lakes Region in Research and Science
Oct 04, 2019
Mixed dry beans
Michigan leads the nation in four dry bean varieties, but the agriculturally diverse state is also known for producing asparagus, cucumbers, tart cherries, squash, and much more. Photo credit: Scott Bauer, USDA

In the latest Census of Agriculture, Michigan farmers reported growing many types of fruits, vegetable, and livestock commodities. But when you think of Michigan, you might think of beans. Known throughout the world as a top producer of dry edible beans, the Great Lakes State works hard to grow and market beans that reflect the place from which they come and the passionate commitment of the people involved.

Michigan was the second largest dry bean producing state in the U.S. in terms of the number of farms growing dry beans, number of acres harvested, and quantity harvested, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Michigan recorded 1,085 farms with a total of 225,334 acres of dry beans harvested during the Census year. Quantity of dry beans harvested in 2017 totaled 4.49 million cwt in Michigan.

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Michigan dairy farmers sold more than $1.79 billion worth of milk from their cows. Despite the decrease in the number of farms, the number of dairy cows in Michigan kept growing. As of 2017, there were more than 442,000 milk cows on 2,158 dairy farms.

In the same census, Michigan ranked third in the nation for Market Value of Ag Products Sold in nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod. There were 1,194 farms and over $739 million in sales.

NASS changed the demographic questions to better represent the roles of all persons involved in the day-to-day decision making on farms. As a result, the number of producers is up slightly to 79,404 due to farms reporting multiple producers. Most of the new producers were women, while the number of male producers decreased by 6.2 percent to 51,449 from 2012 to 2017, and the number of female producers increased by 16.1 percent to 27,955.

As you can see, Michigan agriculture is very diverse and its impact is widespread. Of course this is just a sample of the wonders our farming industry has to offer. To check out all of the other elements of our unique agriculture sector, review the Michigan State Profile.

Category/Topic: Research and Science