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Muck Farming Research

January 10, 2022

Right now, you may be wondering why they wanted to study muck farming.

Well, Michigan has roughly 4 million acres of soil that is considered muck. Given the amount of land that could yield crops and generate revenue, there was growing interest across the state in learning how to farm these soils, so the Muck Farm was started in 1941. Carrots, potatoes, onions, and mint were some of the main things grown and studied here. In fact, Michigan is still one of the top five carrot producers and one of the top ten potato producers in the US!

In addition to growing, the farm also conducted research on things that damage or ruin crops like diseases or insects. One example is Potato Blight – a fungus that makes potato crops inedible. They also studied experimental pesticides and herbicides on the crops here.

Lots of people worked at the farm over the years, many of them local high school and college students who helped care for the land during the summer growing season. Often their work consisted of pulling weeds around the crops. Looking at the marsh now, try and imagine rows of crops growing right here and students crawling around pulling weeds from under those rows.