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    The United States Department of Agriculture's 2007 Agricultural Census has been released. An article in the Muskegon Chronicle provides a nice summary from a Michigan perspective. The good news is that Michigan livestock and crop sales increased by 53 percent from the previous census in 2002 in terms of dollar sales. Also of note is the fact that gross sales per Michigan farm grew by 45 percent, also in terms of dollar sales. The bad news is that production costs increased enough that the average net income per farm actually fell. Furthermore, the survey results do not accurately reflect the prices farmers are currently receiving for their products. The price of farm commodities has generally fallen since the census.

    Also of note is that 14 percent of Michigan farms accounted for 90 percent of sales leaving 86 percent of all farms with less than $100,000 in sales. As one would expect, this concentration has stemmed partly from a surge in CAFOs.

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    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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    Meet your Policy Fellow: Jeffrey Astrein

    Jeffrey Astrein is Agriculture correspondent and fellow for the Michigan Policy Network. Jeffrey is a senior at Michigan State University.