Fruit Production

Michigan is a major fruit-growing state. The lake-effect climate and fertile soils make for favorable fruit production, especially along the fruit belt running the length of the lower peninsula.

Fruit Resources

Fruit Growers News
Fruit industry news including a buyer’s guide and horticulture industry links.

Good Fruit Grower
An industry magazine covering aspects of fruit growing, management, development and marketing.

Michigan State University – Fruit & Nuts
Educational resources for Michigan growers and consumers regarding fruit pest management, food safety, business management, food processing, horticultural practices, irrigation and weed management.

University of Illinois – Fruit and Vegetable News
A newsletter for commercial growers of fruit and vegetable crops.

Cornell University – Scaffolds Fruit Journal
A weekly update on pest management and crop development.

Purdue University – Facts for Fancy Fruit
A newsletter for commercial and advanced amateur fruit growers that includes information on pest control, production , and other practices.

Extension Articles

All Michigan State University Extension articles are selected from MSU Extension: Agriculture. To stay current, subscribe to MSUE news digests.

Integrated Strategies for Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Organic Small Fruit Production
This bulletin talks about integrated pest management strategies of detrimental pest SWD in berries, cherries, and grapes.

Use Precision Cropload Management tools to target apple crop load
Try these tools to take the worry out of apple thinning.

Risks posed by volunteers and visitors on produce farms
Volunteers and visitors pose a particular risk of contaminating fresh produce during harvest operations. Produce growers should be aware of these risks and potential preventive controls.

Evaluating water sources to ensure safe fresh produce
A critical part of ensuring food safe water for produce growing is performing a water system risk assessment. It is often helpful to create a checklist to ensure that the assessment looks at the same criteria each time it is performed.

Mealybugs and leafroll virus in vineyards
Scout now to determine presence or absence of leafroll virus and its vector, mealybugs.

Fruit IPM Research Priorities
New York state compiled its 2005-2006 Fruit IPM Research Priorities for fruit trees, grapes and berries, which are based on stakeholder input.


Resource Assimilation and Vineyard Productivity
Grapes 101 is a Cornell University series of brief articles highlighting the fundamentals of cool climate grape and wine production.

Bud Fruitfulness and Yield
Grapes 101 is a Cornell University series of brief articles highlighting the fundamentals of cool climate grape and wine production.

The Basics of Vineyard Site Evaluation and Selection
This Cornell University collaborative is intended to provide easy access to a great deal of basic geographic and climate information helpful in the evaluation and selection of vineyard sites.

Vineyard Floor Management Webinar
This Cornell Cooperative Extension webinar is part of the Northern Grapes Project, and covers some basics of vineyard floor management, including weed control.


Highbush Blueberry Production Guide 
Blueberries and cranberries are the only two commercially cultivated fruit crops native to North America alone. 

Raspberry and Blackberry Production Guide 
This guide is intended as a comprehensive resource for both novice and experienced raspberry and blackberry growers as well as crop advisors and educators.

Better blueberry weed control for 2015
Avoid herbicide resistance and obtain better weed control in blueberries by combining tank mix partners with different modes of action.

Cornell Berry Webinar Archive
This is an archive of all berry webinars from Cornell’s Cooperative Extension; they include individual series on blueberry, cranberry, strawberry, bramble and small fruit, as well as videos on pest management and soil health. 

Postharvest Handling and Storage of Berries
Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs explains how to maintain fresh quality after berry harvest, including techniques for proper handling, transportation and storage.

Bushberries: Blackberry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Raspberry: Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality
UC Davis provides recommendations to reduce postharvest losses and improve the quality, safety and marketability of bushberries.


Organic Fruit Frost Protection

Determining Frost Damage in an Orchard

“Pick a individual flower, or several flowers in a tight cluster, and with your fingernail, cut them in half. If the center is any color but green to bright green they are, sorry to say, done. If you sample the same variety randomly ten times at the same level/elevation (not at the bottom of a slope, because cold air sinks), you will get a good estimate of the potential crop that is yet to grow.”

— From Patrick at Breezy Hill Organic Orchard, Maple Lake, MN

Saving Fruit Trees from Early Spring Frosts

“The cellular integrity of a fruit tree starts with calcium; getting minerals into the cell will lower the freezing point inside the plant.” A homemade spray can help.

Per 1 gallon of water, add: 2 oz liquid calcium, 2 oz molasses, 4 oz soft rock phosphate water, 1 oz fish fertilizer and 2 oz kelp

Subscribe to the Michigan Organic Listserv for more advice.