Sep 29, 2011
Fruit growers have a lot to learn at the 2011 Great Lakes EXPO

This year’s Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO will offer a variety of educational sessions and special events. There should be something of interest for everyone attending. The 2011 EXPO is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6, through Thursday, Dec. 8. Here’s just some of what is being planned.

Education sessions

A number of commodity sessions will be offered, including tree fruit, wine and juice grape sessions on Tuesday, apple sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, blueberry, cherry and stone fruit sessions on Wednesday. An organic tree fruit session is planned for Thursday as part of a full-day program for organic growers. For cider makers, a sweet cider session will be offered on Wednesday and a hard cider session on Thursday.

Sessions on topics of general interest include a session on food safety audits on Tuesday and a session on hoop houses and high and low tunnels on Wednesday.

For growers with farm markets, morning and afternoon farm market sessions will be offered Tuesday and Wednesday. These sessions will offer a number of interesting and informative presentations, including several “show and tell” discussions by successful farm marketers. A farm marketers’ roundtable session to share successful marketing ideas will be held Tuesday evening.

Four in-depth workshops are being planned for farm marketers on Thursday. One workshop will feature John Stanley, who specializes in helping perishable retail businesses to grow their bottom line and expand their market base. This year’s bakery workshop will include Joy Grose, Bakery Consultant for Farm Markets from Sparland, Ill., who will give a demonstration on bread baking. A third workshop will provide information on direct marketing beef.

Here’s a closer look at some of the fruit educational sessions, which begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. For the full schedule, go to pages 28 and 29.

Berries. Jim Hancock, Michigan State University (MSU), will talk about cultural and genetic alternatives for Michigan strawberries; Bill Middleton will discuss berry production at Middleton Berry Farm, Ortonville, Mich; Gary Bardenhagen, Lake Leelanau, Mich., will talk about blackberry production in northwest Michigan and the pros and cons of the Adjustable Trellis System; Diane Brown, MSU, will discuss berry marketing and contract growing opportunities in Michigan.

Tree Fruit. Anne Nielson and Matt Grieshop, MSU, will give an update on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) in Michigan; Larry Gut, MSU, will give the latest status on the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) in Michigan; Grieshop also will discuss maintaining IPM programs despite invasive pests; Todd Einhorn, Oregon State University (OSU), will close with recent developments in pear horticulture.

Wine Grape. Kevin Ker, KCMS Applied Research and Consulting, will talk about canopy management choices for premium grape quality; Paolo Sabbatini, MSU, will discuss cover crops to reduce vine vigor and improve sustainability; Lee Lutes, Black Star Farms, will explore ways to improve the winery-grower relationship.
Fruit educational sessions will resume at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Apple I. Larry Gut will cover new insect pest management ideas for apples in 2012; Steven McArtney, North Carolina State University (NCSU), will explore how hormones and carbohydrates interact to thin apples; Phil Schwallier, MSU, will talk about the carbohydrate model in Michigan; David Bedford, University of Minnesota, will highlight Minnesota’s apple breeding program; Bedford and Audrey Sebolt, MSU, will discuss quantifying priorities for new apple cultivars.

Grape. Kevin Ker will talk about vine nutrition; Paolo Sabbatini about increasing the fruit quality and antioxidant capacity of Concord grapes; Annemiek Schilder, MSU, about disease protection of late-harvest juice grapes and wine grapes.

Fruit Variety Showcase. This event will start at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Fruit varieties and strains gathered from various locations around North America will be displayed. Unique varieties that are successful at farm markets and u-pick operations will be included in the display, as will everbearing raspberries. The display will be available to view both Tuesday and Wednesday in the meeting room used for the tree fruit and apple sessions. At the showcase presentation Tuesday, a number of the most promising varieties will be discussed, including some cider apple varieties. There will be an opportunity to sample some of the varieties on display during the showcase.

Fruit sessions will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Blueberry I. Lyndon Kelley, MSU/Purdue University, will give an update on large-volume water use in Michigan; Rufus Isaacs, MSU, will talk about first-season experiences with SWD; Carlos Garcia-Salazar, MSU, will talk about the Light Brown Apple Moth.

Enology. Lee Lutes, Black Star Farms; Nancie Corum-Oxley, St. Julian Wine Co.; and Dennis Dunham, Oliver Winery, will discuss fruit wine and fruit brandy production.

Tart Cherry. Amy Iezzoni, MSU, will help quantify priorities for new tart cherry cultivars; Micheal Wehman, Cherry Marketing Institute, will update the progress of the Go Red Instead promotional campaign; Nikke Rothwell, MSU, will discuss the tart cherry orchard of the future; and George Sundin, MSU, will look at new fungicides for cherry disease control.

Fruit sessions will continue at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Apple II. Dave Biddinger, Penn State University, will talk about controlling BMSB in Pennsylvania; Steven McArtney will host a tribute to the work of Rongcai Yuan on unlocking fruit drop; Lailiang Cheng, Cornell University, will go over the nutrient requirements of apple trees; George Sundin will give updates on new apple scab fungicides for 2012 and Kasumin for fire blight.

Blueberry II. Annemiek Schilder will discuss disease control in Michigan; Eric Hanson, MSU, will discuss trends in world blueberry production and effective use of newer herbicides; Mark Longstroth and Mollie Woods, MSU, will explore what’s happening in the Chinese blueberry industry; and Shelly Hartmann, True Blue Farms, will lead the annual meeting of the Michigan Blueberry Advisory Committee.

Stone Fruit. David Ritchie, NCSU, will go over management of bacterial spot in stone fruit with copper and other bactericides; Kevin Bittner, Singer Farms, will discuss on-farm experiences with mechanical blossom thinning of peaches, plums and apricots; Matt Peters, N.M. Bartlett Inc., will discuss current status and future refinements for the Darwin string thinner; Ritchie will talk about fungicides for management of brown rot and other stone fruit diseases; Dale Mutch, MSU, will give cover crop strategies for fruit crops.

Sweet Cherry. Todd Einhorn, OSU, will discuss horticultural techniques to optimize yield and quality of sweet cherry; Nikki Rothwell and John Wise will share good news about obliquebanded leafroller; George Sundin will give an update on the efficacy of fungicides for American brown rot; Jim Flore, MSU, will cover strides made in mechanically harvesting cherries with stems.

Current Issues in Organic Fruit Production. This session will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Pete Nelson and Mark Whalon, MSU, will start off with an update on fungal and nematode-based biopesticides; David Granatstein, Washington State University, will talk about tending the orchard floor in organic systems; Ben Gluck and Eric Hanson, MSU, will give an update on the second year of MSU’s organic high tunnel raspberry project; Matt Grieshop, Anne Nielson and John Pote will give an update on apple flea weevil; Grieshop, Granatstein, Sundin and Jim Koan, Al-Mar Orchards, will participate in a roundtable discussion of organic fire blight management.

For more information, please go to the Great Lakes EXPO website.

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