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      Fruit farmers adopt new tax to fund research

      M ichigan's tree fruit farmers have decided to tax themselves to help raise money for research.

      T he goal is to help one of the state's largest industries grow and stay competitive with the rest of the nation.

      Jim K ing has been a fruit farmer for many years . H e has seen the industry grow during his lifetime , but he wants to reassure future growth for his family with an investment now.

      "I know that if we have more funding and we can get more research we can stay more competitive in the marketplace ," King said.

      T hat funding is coming in the form of a voluntary tax , recently voted on by tree fruit farmers in Michigan.

      A nd it will effect farmers that produce apples, cherries, peaches, and plums.

      "A grower will pay based on what he produces ," King said.

      A t this point it's not clear how much each farm will be asked to pay or how much money will be funneled into research programs .

      "W e feel that if that's what it take to get the research done on all these different projects that we're willing to pay for it ," King said.

      T he tax program is slated to begin on April 1st.