Exciting News for Michigan Blueberry Growers: Enhanced Crop Insurance Options Announced

Great news for Michigan blueberry farmers! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled improved crop insurance options, set to provide substantial benefits to blueberry growers in the state.

Currently, Michigan is one of the largest blueberry producers in the U.S., supplying millions of pounds each year. However, the existing one-size-fits-all insurance model has not effectively addressed the diverse needs of blueberry growers. The new program changes that, offering tailored pricing options and separate insurance units for different blueberry types instead of grouping them together.

“Michigan is unique in its diverse blueberry varieties, each with different growing seasons and characteristics,” said Tim Boring, Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). “Incorporating this information into insurance policies means better options for growers.”

The enhanced insurance program, developed in collaboration with the Michigan Blueberry Advisory Committee and the USDA, aims to provide more accurate and beneficial coverage tailored to the specific needs of Michigan’s blueberry industry. Director Boring described the change as a “thoughtful evolution,” emphasizing that the new approach will deliver better value options for producers.

Farmers are optimistic about the upcoming changes. Mark Krieger, a lifelong blueberry farmer from Bridgman, expressed his enthusiasm: “This new insurance will break coverage into units, which is great for a year like this where early fruit is good and late fruit is frozen. It prevents penalization over the farm’s production history.”

Krieger’s family has been farming blueberries for four generations, and he believes the new insurance will be very helpful. “Thumbs up to the USDA for their time and effort in making this happen,” he said.

These changes are set to take effect in the 2025 growing season, offering much-needed stability and support to local blueberry farmers. For more details, you can read the full article HERE.