Today Governor Whitmer issued a ‘stay at home’ order. Please click here to read the Executive Order in full.
Governor directs all non-critical businesses to temporarily close, all Michiganders to stay home or six feet away from others during COVID-19 crisis
Effective at 12:01 am on March 24, 2020, for at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.
with the Governor ready to announce a stay at home order, greenhouse owners are concerned they will not be considered “essential services” in the order. The timing could not be worse for the greenhouses as April – June is the time frame where 90% of their product is sold and 100% of the profit is generated. The remaining months all have a negative impact to their bottom line. They have invested heavily in planting and getting things ready for market. The impact of losing their season could mean 50% may not recover. A large portion of greenhouses are 1 acre or less and cannot weather the financial hardship of a shutdown.
I have attached our Economic Impact Greenhouse Brochure to show the how much the industry adds to our economy in the state. This is a information from 2018 so it is a little behind as there has been significant growth in the last few years in the greenhouse industry. Some out of state growers have exited floriculture to produce hemp or marijuana so Michigan has become even more important to supply. Merchandisers for the Michigan production industries have become more important and add possibly 2,000 employees to the mix also.
Michigan has grown to the 3rd largest greenhouse production state in the nation and we need to support our growers to continue to grow and prosper. Pennsylvania has this language in their essential businesses legislation:
Essential businesses for a safe and accessible food supply include farms, greenhouses and vegetable plants, orchards, pest management services, feed mills and ag supply businesses, agriculture equipment sales and services, animal feed and supply distribution network, transportation system from farm to retail, food and meat processors and manufacturers, veterinary services and supplies, distribution and transportation system from processors and manufacturers to retailers, retailers to include grocery stores and farmers markets, grocery delivery services, laboratories, and inspectors that ensure food safety.
Please help to make sure we have something like this for Michigan to keep needed products in the hands of Michiganders.
The 2018 Farm Bill provided for the study of crop insurance for greenhouse growers. Risk Management Agency (RMA) has contracted Watts & Associates to conduct the study. Watts & Associates has been in contact with MGGC searching for interested experts to help with the feasibility study. They plan to hold a general informational meeting for all greenhouse growers to attend in June (more information will be forthcoming).
Below is the 2018 Farm Bill language
Page 453 ‘‘(17) GREENHOUSE POLICY.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.— ‘‘(i) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.—The Corporation shall carry out research and development, or offer to enter into 1 or more contracts with 1 or more qualified persons to carry out research and development, regarding a policy to insure in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse— ‘‘(I) the production of floriculture, nursery, and bedding plants; ‘‘(II) the establishment of cuttings or tissue culture in a growing medium; or ‘‘(III) other similar production, as determined by the Secretary. ‘‘(ii) AVAILABILITY OF POLICY.—Notwithstanding the last sentence of section 508(a)(1), and section 508(a)(2), the Corporation shall make a policy described in clause (i) available if the requirements of section 508(h) are met. ‘‘(B) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT DESCRIBED.—Research and development described in subparagraph (A)(i)
Page 454 O:\ELT\ELT18A60.xml [file 12 of 13] S.L.C. shall evaluate the effectiveness of policies for the production of plants in a controlled environment, including policies that— ‘‘(i) are based on the risk of— ‘‘(I) plant diseases introduced from the environment; ‘‘(II) contaminated cuttings, seedlings, or tissue culture; or ‘‘(III) Federal or State quarantine or destruction orders associated with the contaminated items described in subclause (II); ‘‘(ii) consider other causes of loss applicable to a controlled environment, such as a loss of electricity due to weather; ‘‘(iii) consider appropriate best practices to minimize the risk of loss; ‘‘(iv) consider whether to provide coverage for various types of plants under 1 policy or to provide coverage for 1 species or type of plant per policy; ‘‘(v) have streamlined reporting and paperwork requirements that take into account short propagation schedules, variable crop years, and the variety of plants that may be produced in a single facility; and ‘‘(vi) provide protection for revenue losses. ‘‘(C) REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the Corporation shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that describes— ‘‘(i) the results of the research and development carried out under subparagraphs (A)(i) and (B); and ‘‘(ii) any recommendations with respect to those results. ‘‘(18) LOCAL FOODS.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.— ‘‘(i) FEASIBILITY STUDY.—The Corporation shall carry out a study to determine the feasibility of, or offer to enter into 1 or more contracts with 1 or more qualified persons to carry out a study to determine the feasibility of, a policy to insure production— ‘‘(I) of floriculture, fruits, vegetables, poultry, livestock, or the products of floriculture, fruits, vegetables, poultry, or livestock; and ‘‘(II) that is targeted toward local consumers and markets. ‘‘(ii) AVAILABILITY OF POLICY.—Notwithstanding the last sentence of section 508(a)(1), and section 508(a)(2), the Corporation shall make available a policy described in clause (i) if— ‘‘(I) the results of the feasibility study under clause (i) are viable; and ‘‘(II) the requirements of section 508(h) are met.
Page 455 O:\ELT\ELT18A60.xml [file 12 of 13] S.L.C. ‘‘(B) FEASIBILITY STUDY DESCRIBED.—The feasibility study described in subparagraph (A)(i) shall evaluate the effectiveness of policies for production targeted toward local consumers and markets, including policies that— ‘‘(i) consider small-scale production in various areas, including urban, suburban, and rural areas; ‘‘(ii) consider a variety of marketing strategies; ‘‘(iii) allow for production in soil and in alternative systems such as vertical systems, greenhouses, rooftops, or hydroponic systems; ‘‘(iv) consider the price premium when accounting for production or revenue losses; ‘‘(v) consider whether to provide coverage— ‘‘(I) for various types of production under 1 policy; and ‘‘(II) for 1 species or type of plant per policy; and ‘‘(vi) have streamlined reporting and paperwork requirements. ‘‘(C) REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the Corporation shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that— ‘‘(i) examines whether a version of existing policies such as the whole-farm revenue protection insurance plan may be tailored to provide improved coverage for producers of local foods; ‘‘(ii) describes the results of the feasibility study carried out under subparagraph (A)(i); and ‘‘(iii) includes any recommendations with respect to those results.