MI Ag Community Reacts to Texas Explosion - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

MI Ag Community Reacts to Texas Explosion

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - The cause of the deadly explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant is still under investigation, but the news of it is hitting close to home.

There are about 100 agriculture retailers in Michigan that sell fertilizer to farmers according to Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association.

Ag experts say it's a key ingredient to successfully grow crops, but state ag officials say there's a difference between the facilities that sell fertilizer here compared to the one in the town of West, Texas.

"Our understanding is that it was a storage as well as some manufacturing and was on a scale that we don't have in Michigan," said Brad Deacon, the emergency management coordinator for the Michigan Department of Ag and Rural Development.

Byrum says the association is watching the developing story closely.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the folks in West, Texas that experienced this," added Byrum. "In terms of what this does to the ag industry, everybody is looking at us asking where are we at, what are we doing?"

This morning, Byrum e-mailed the association's members to notify them about the Texas incident and reminded them to review their facilities safety measures.

"In terms of risks, we in Michigan have been very proactive in mitigating risks, installing security procedures and plans," said Byrum.

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