Attend the 2013 Blueberry Pre-bloom Kick-off Meeting on April 2

Get an update on major crop management issues that Michigan blueberry growers will face during the 2013 season.

The Michigan State University Extension small fruit program would like to invite Michigan’s blueberry growers to our first growers’ meeting of the 2013 blueberry season. The purpose of this meeting is to provide growers an update on major crop management issues that we will be facing during this year.

In 2012, we had difficult challenges that most growers had to overcome in order to have a successful blueberry season. Unusual weather problems, including spring frost and drought, affected the production and productivity of the blueberry industry. In addition, the presence of spotted wing Drosophila created serious phytosanitary issues for some growers unable to control it in a timely manner.

Currently, the weather pattern seems to be within the range of normal temperatures that we experience at the end of March during most years. However, in 2012, the early spring and the summer drought affected not only the blueberry productivity, but also the health of the plant. In some cases it may take time to recover from the damage.

Please join us on April 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Trevor Nichols Research Center, 6237 124th Ave., Fennville, Mich. (view map). Growers attending this meeting will receive RUP credit for re-certification. No pre-registration is needed, just show up!

The agenda for this meeting is as follows:

1-1:20 p.m. – Welcome and Industry Update

  • Michigan Blueberry Advisory Committee & NHBC, Shelly Hartmann & Bob Carini

1:20-1:50 p.m. – Planning for Insect Control in 2013

  • Rufus Isaacs – MSU Entomology, Small Fruit Specialist

1:50–2:10 p.m. – Winter and Road Salt Damage to Blueberries

  • Carlos Garcia, MSUE Small Fruit Educator

2:10–2:30 p.m. – Prapring for Frost Protection in 2013

  • Mark Longstroth, MSUE Small Fruit Educator

2:30–2:35 p.m. – Coffee Break

2:35–2:55 p.m. – Early Season Weed Control

  • Eric Hanson, MSU Horticulture, Small Fruit Specialist

2:55–3:25 p.m. – Early Season Blueberry Disease Control Program

  • Annemiek Schilder, MSU Plant Pathology, Small Fruit Specialist

3:25–4 p.m. - MDARD: Programs available to Michigan Blueberry Industry in 2013; Blueberry Export Program and National Clean Plant Network

  • Mike Bryan, Nursery and Export Program Specialist Pesticide, and Richard Kaitany, Plant Pest Mgt. Division Michigan Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Division (MDA, & RD)

For more information or assistance, please contact Carlos Garcia at 616-260-0671.

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