Michigan Blueberry Commission Research Priorities for 2020

  1. Develop management programs for native and invasive pests
    • Blueberry stem gall wasp, spotted wing drosophila, nematodes
    • Fungal disease pathogens, especially anthracnose, including development and validation of disease prediction models
    • Weeds, especially milkweed, horse nettle, hemp dogbane, and perennial vines
    • Study effects of fi eld-applied sanitizers and skin thickeners on fruit firmness, disease control, and insect control
  2. Enhance blueberry yields and quality
    • Best practices for removal of low yielding fields, site preparation strategies, and field establishment techniques
    • Better understanding of methods to increase fruit set, fruit size, and fruit quality including planting design, pollination, pruning, nutrition, and water management
    • Management systems that reduce labor inputs, especially harvest labor
    • Breeding program to enhance selection for both plant hardiness and fruit quality
    • Growth regulator uses to increase quality and yields, and de-fruiting young plantings
  3. Effectiveness of Generic Sprays and lower cost fungicides
    • Anthracnose reduction, possible thru lower cost fungicides? (ie. reliant, aframe)
    • Lowering the financial impact of chemical inputs on the farm helps the bottom line
  4. Food Safety
    • Production and Harvest practices
    • FSMA and GAP education to growers