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Michigan farmers hope 2020 will be a better year

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

2019 has been a challenging year for Michigan farmers, and weather has only been part of the problem.

Tariff disputes and unsettled trade deals have disrupted international markets for Michigan’s agri-business. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico in January. Also, China is proposing cutting tariffs in preparation for a partial deal in its trade dispute with the U.S. 

Trey Malone is an assistant professor and extension economist at Michigan State University. He says 2020 should see progress on key trade deals for Michigan farmers. But Malone is still cautious.

“It’s not clear to me that we really fully grasp the long-term implications of this kind of massive disruption of supply chains globally,” says Malone. “So it will be interesting to see how these markets sort themselves out in 2020, but even further down the road – into 2021, etc.”

In other trends to watch next year, Malone expects the hemp and marijuana sector will continue to grow in Michigan.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.