Mar 2, 2018
Michigan Apple Committee approves research funding

At its February board meeting, the Michigan Apple Committee (MAC) board approved funding for 2018 research projects. MAC funds research annually for the benefit of Michigan Apple growers.

“Our governor-appointed board of growers each selects a grower from their region to serve on the Michigan Apple Research Subcommittee. That group looks at MAC’s research priorities and based on those priorities as well as the budget, they recommend funding to the board. The board then makes final approval on the research funding for the year,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the research subcommittee.

The research priorities are set to support industry success. MAC looks for projects that increase demand, improve quality and consistency, improve production efficiency, and enhance food safety systems. MAC wishes to support innovative research that helps achieve MAC’s mission by enhancing the reputation of Michigan Apples, improve their share of sales in target makers and aid the profitability and sustainability of Michigan’s apple industry.

“MAC accepts proposals from many different research institutions and centers of excellence,” said Smith. “We are fortunate to have a world-class agricultural instruction right in our back yard with Michigan State University, and most of the proposals we receive are from MSU researchers.”

For 2018, projects were funded for more than $230,000 on research topics ranging from harvest technology to pest management to varietal research. For the complete list of projects, see below.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its

consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit

 2018 Funded Research:

 Todd Einhorn

Optimizing Apple Thinning: $33,916

Improving Orchard Establishment and Early Returns Via Containerized Nursery Trees: $17,537

New Apple Models to Predict Development and Maturity of Honeycrisp, Gala and Fuji:$19,175

Matt Grieshop

Field Scale Evaluation of ozone for Management of Apple Insect and Disease Pests: $8,448

Larry Gut

Management of Codling Moth Using Sterile Moth Releases: $15,300

Manipulating Symbiotic Bacteria to Manage Brown Marmorated Stink Bug: $10,200

Managing Invasive Pests to Maintain Fruit Quality and Profitability.: $16,150

Amy Irish-Brown

Apple Fruit Russet Assessment for High Value Varieties: $3,479

Renfu Lu

Development of New Apple Picking-Aid Technology to Enhance Harvest Efficiency and Ergonomics: $8,500

Philip Schwallier

Honeycrisp and General Horticulture Proposal 2018: $15,874

Determine Optimal Leaf and Fruit K Levels for Mitigating Bitterpit Problem in Honeycrisp: $12,426

Bill Shane

Evaluation of Apple Germplasm for the Fresh and Processing Industries: $5,739

Evaluation of MAIA Apple Germplasm: $4,464

George Sundin

Shoot blight management with reduced rates of Apogee, Actigard, and coppers: $21,866

Steven Van Nocker

Optimization of Gibberellin- and Cytokinin-Based Programs for Control of Flowering and Crop Load in Honeycrisp: $14,456

John Wise

Trunk Injection of Insecticides to Control Black Stem Borer in Apples: $9,180


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