Tree Assistance Program and replanting insect/winter damaged blueberry fields discussed at March 13 program

Blueberry growers are encouraged to attend the March 13 session of the Smart Fruit Production Risk Management program in West Olive, Michigan.

Blueberry bush

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) are inviting blueberry growers to attend the second session of our Small Fruit Production Risk Management program on Friday, March 13, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Ottawa County Fillmore Complex, 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive, MI.

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) field officers will discuss in depth the USDA FSA Tree Assistance Program and how blueberry growers can access resources available through this program for removing/replanting fields affected by blueberry stem gall wasp or damaged by extreme winter temperatures (Polar Vortex). In addition, MSU Extension small fruit educators will provide information on options for removing/replanting damaged blueberry fields. Information includes an analysis of the situation of Michigan’s blueberry fields and potential solutions to improve Michigan’s competitiveness, and maintain farm sustainability and employment.

This educational session is part of a seven-week training program (our-hour session once a week) designed to deliver knowledge and assist with dealing with production risks associated with climate change, new invasive insect pests and secondary pest outbreaks, environmental issues and market uncertainties.

The agenda for this meeting is as follows:

  • Removing/replanting insect and winter damaged blueberry fields.
  • How to access USDA FSA Tree Assistance Program resources available for blueberry growers.
  • Financial risk management, including acquiring/managing agricultural credit.

In addition to providing assistance and information to deal with those production risk issues, growers attending this session will receive two RUPs.

We try to make this training opportunity available to all our small fruit industry, especially to small limited resources and minority growers. Thus, for those growers with langue barriers, this training will be bilingual, English/Spanish, and one-on-one assistance upon request.

There is a $30 recuperation fee for the entire seven-week training program. This registration fee covers handouts and refreshments. We will provide a reduced number of scholarships for those unable to cover the registration fee. However, those unable to cover the $30 fee still need to register online. Online registration is required to calculate the exact number of handouts and refreshments.

Register for Small Fruit Production Risk Management Resources and Tools

If unable to register online, please register at the door.

Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Ottawa County Extension at 616-994-4580 by March 12.

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