Outstanding apple presentations on tap at 2016 Great Lakes EXPO

Winter is coming, and that means it’s time for education. Register now for the 2016 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO, Dec. 6-8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Even though apple harvest is wrapping up for the 2016 season, there is still much to do – orchard clean up or removal, late-season mowing, rodent management, equipment repairs and education. Yes, education is a vital component of your apple operation. The modern orchard system is changing fast and keeping up with new technology, and management processes is just as important as any other task required in a commercial apple orchard. Michigan State University Extension offers many educational opportunities throughout the year, and the biggest offering for specialty crops is the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO.

Apple production is complex, and there are so many topics to cover. We try to find the best presenters to speak at EXPO on the topics growers tell us are important during the season. This year, there is one general tree fruit session and two apple sessions.

The Tree Fruit session is Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 9–11 a.m. and the topics cover a wide range, including pears, apple thinning, invasive species and spray technology. The topics and speakers are:

  • Applying New Technologies to Develop Innovative, High-Density Pear Orchards for Fresh Markets­­­­­­­­—Todd Einhorn, Horticulture Department, Michigan State University
  • Models and Materials to Make Bloom Thinning More Reliable in the Eastern U.S. —Greg Peck, Sustainable Fruit Production, Cornell University
  • Invasive Species Trends and Outlook for 2017—Larry Gut, Entomology Department, Michigan State University
  • Crop-Adapted Spraying­­­­—Doing More with Less—Jason Deveau, Application Technology Specialist, OMAFRA, Ontario, Canada

The Apple I session is Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 2–4 p.m. and the topics covered will include pruning and training, an apple insect update, tree architecture and orchard efficiency. The last two presenters in this session are the newest additions to the MSU fruit team in the MSU Department of Horticulture—Courtney Hollendar and Todd Einhorn. These positions were also supported by the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission with your grower dollars, so be sure to come hear what they have to share with you in their presentations. The topics and presenters for Apple I are:

  • Why, When, and How You Should Transition from A 3-D to A 2-D Canopy?—Mario Miranda Sazo, Lake Ontario Fruit Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Newark, New York
  • MSU Tree Fruit Entomology Research Summary—Larry Gut, Entomology Department, Michigan State University
  • Designer Tree Architecture for Orchards of the Future—Courtney Hollendar, Horticulture Department, Michigan
  • Increasing Tree Fruit Efficiency and Grower Profitability—Introduction to a new, applied research and outreach program—Todd Einhorn, Horticulture Department, Michigan State University

The Apple II session is Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 2–4 p.m. with topics covering plant growth regulators, Honeycrisp storage, fire blight and pruning precision. Topics and presenters are:

  • Apple Harvest Management and PGR Enlightenment—Phil Schwallier, District Horticulture and Marketing Educator, MSU Extension, Clarksville, Michigan
  • Honeycrisp Harvest and Storage Review—Randy Beaudry, Horticulture Department, Michigan State University
  • Fire Blight—Factors that affect pathogen growth and fuel epidemics—George Sundin, Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Department, Michigan State University
  • Continually Fine-Tune Your Fruit Production Strategy and Execution—Mario Miranda Sazo, Lake Ontario Fruit Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Newark, New York

I hope you find the time to attend all of these sessions, as well as the many other offerings during the Great Lakes Expo, Dec. 6–8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Pre-register by Nov. 16 for lower registration fees and to save time when you arrive at the EXPO. Online registration will be open from Sept. 26 to Nov. 16. By pre-registering, you save $15 on regular registration fees. Pre-registration also assures you can purchase tickets for the special events you want to attend. Register online now at: Register for the 2016 EXPO.

If you pre-register by Nov. 16, your receipt, name badge and any special event tickets you order will be mailed to you prior to the EXPO. When you arrive in Grand Rapids, just pick up your badge holder and program at the pre-registration booth and you can then go directly into the trade show and education sessions. If your registration is received after Nov. 16, your name badge and tickets will not be mailed to you. You will need to pick them up onsite at the Registration Help Desk.

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