Category Archives: Agricultural Industry

Bumblebee populations higher in Detroit than in some less-urbanized areas; vacant lots could be a factor

ANN ARBOR — A new study of native bumblebee populations in southeastern Michigan cities found, surprisingly, that Detroit has more of the large-bodied bees than some surrounding, less urbanized locations.

The University of Michigan students who conducted the study suspect that the large amount of vacant or idle land in Detroit may boost the bumblebee population by providing nesting sites and flowers for food.

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UM Researchers: Lake Erie Pollution Targets ‘Challenging’ But Achievable

ANN ARBOR — Large-scale changes to agricultural practices will be required to meet the goal of reducing levels of algae-promoting phosphorus in Lake Erie by 40 percent, a new University of Michigan-led, multi-institution computer modeling study concludes.

Last month, the United States and Canadian governments called for a 40 percent reduction, from 2008 levels, in phosphorus runoff from farms and other sources into Lake Erie. The nutrient feeds an oxygen-depleted “dead zone” in the lake and toxin-producing algae blooms, including a 2014 event that contaminated the drinking water of more than 400,000 people near Toledo for two days.

The main driver of the harmful blooms is elevated phosphorus from watersheds draining to Lake Erie’s western basin, particularly from the heavily agricultural Maumee River watershed. About 85 percent of the phosphorus entering Lake Erie from the Maumee River comes from farm fertilizers and manure.

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MSU Engineering Prof Honored For Bioeconomy Efforts

EAST LANSING — University Distinguished Professor Bruce E. Dale, of the Michigan State University College of Engineering, will be inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows in 2016.

The College of Fellows is comprised of the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country.

Dale was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for outstanding contributions in the biological engineering of transforming plant biomass to food and fuel to achieve a sustainable bioeconomy.

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Dexter Brewery Turning Wastewater To Energy

DEXTER — Northern United Brewing Co. of Dexter will soon become the first customer to install a system from Boston-based Cambrian Innovation that turns wastewater into energy

Called the EcoVolt Mini, the system was designed for food and beverage producers that are generating under 20,000 gallons of wastewater a day. The Mini removes more than 99.9 percent of pollutants and solids from the waste stream, producing reusable water and renewable biogas.

Northern United Brewing will use EcoVolt Mini to scale up operations, cut operating costs, and improve its environmental footprint. The company said it purchased the EcoVolt Mini to alleviate pressure on the local wastewater treatment plant, allowing both the brewery and the community to grow. The state of Michigan provided a $200,000 grant to help fund the project.

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Michigan Tech Hosts Food-Water-Energy Climate Workshop

HOUGHTON — The National Science Foundation is sponsoring a workshop at Michigan Technological University on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 17, to explore some of the most compelling issues of our time centering on the basics of life: food, energy, water and climate.

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MSU Startup Provides ‘Treeborn’ Ingredients for Breweries

EAST LANSING — A new Michigan State University startup company has found a way to apply Michigan’s role as first in chestnut production to the booming microbrew industry.

Treeborn Products craft-roasts chestnuts to be used in the brewing process for both gluten-free and regular ales, stouts and porters. Their roasting process helps maximize chestnuts’ naturally sweet, nutty flavor.

While chestnuts have been used extensively as a brewing ingredient in Europe, Treeborn’s product brings chestnuts to the American brewing market in the form of flavorful, easy-to-use chips that can be applied at all stages of brewing.

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Michigan Tech Hosts Forest Bioenergy Researchers

HOUGHTON — Researchers across the Americas look to forests for power, transportation fuel and heat. More than 80 of those researchers from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay and the US met at Michigan Technological University to discuss bioenergy.

The work is part of the Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE), funded by the National Science Foundation. Kathy Halvorsen, a professor of natural resource policy at Michigan Tech, helps lead the PIRE research group, which is highly interdisciplinary.

“As we move forward with the project spanning six countries, I am always thinking about how are we going to be able to answer our research questions,” Halvorsen said, adding the project spans social, natural and engineering sciences. “We have to think about how we do our research so we can compare and integrate our data across the countries and disciplines.”

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Applications Available For CMU Fermentation Science Program

MT. PLEASANT — Central Michigan University’s College of Science and Technology is tapping into the art of brewing and now accepting applications for those interested in its certificate program in fermentation science — a program designed to provide hands-on experience in modern brewery production processes.

CMU’s program is the first of its kind in Michigan to provide a hands-on education focused on craft beer and is expected to appeal to students both in and outside the sciences, as well as to brewery employees looking to advance their careers.

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2015 Pure Michigan Agriculture Summit Coming Next Month

LANSING — The Pure Michigan Business Connect program is back with another event focused on its overall aim of encouraging Michigan businesses to trade with each other — in this case, in the agricultural industry.

The second annual Pure Michigan Agriculture Summit will be held March 19 at the DeVos Center in Grand Rapids.

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