Apr 16, 2024
Michigan fruit update released

Michigan State University (MSU) has released a seasonal fruit production update.

An April 16 email outlined updates on fruit crops in a variety of regions, including Southeast, West central, Grand Rapids and Southwest Michigan.


Southeast Michigan fruit update

Derek Plotkowski, Extension Fruit Educator for Southeast Michigan for Michigan State University Extension, provided a detailed update fruit-by-fruit.

For apples, Plotkowski said that most apples are between tight cluster and pink.

“First blossoms in Manchurian Crab have been reported in apples near our warmest Enviroweather station at Deerfield,” he said.

In Fenton blueberry plantings, he noted that tight clusters to early pink buds have been observed.

“This is the primary risk period for mummy berry and it is time to start paying attention to phomopsis,” he said.

For more information on cherries, grapes, strawberries and more read MSU’s full Southeast Michigan update.

West central Michigan tree fruit update

The West Central Michigan tree fruit update was provided by Emily Lavely, Tree Fruit Educator for the West Central region for MSU.

“Warm weather has rapidly advanced bud development this week. Peaches are beginning to bloom in the region,” Lavely’s report stated. “Bud development has changed rapidly over the past few days in tree fruit as we move closer to bloom.”

She noted that growers continue to plant trees, chop brush, prune trees and apply cover sprays this week.

“Note that fruitlet thinning of apple can start with pruning by removing excess fruit buds. Earlier thinning will improve fruit size and quality,” Lavely shared.

For more information, read MSU’s the full West central Michigan update.

Grand Rapids area tree fruit update

Lindsay Brown, Extension tree fruit integrated pest management educator for MSU, provided the tree fruit update for the Grand Rapids region.

“We’ve seen variable bud development due to fluctuating temperatures,” Brown said in the report. “However, recent warmer weather has encouraged fruit growth.”

She also detailed that phenology has been quickly developing with the warmer weather. “Apple buds are currently at tight cluster and moving into first pink in warmer areas. Sweet cherry, peach and plum are currently in bloom in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area,” she said.

Also, the update noted that the primary focus this week will be on apple scab control.

For more information, read MSU’s full tree fruit update on the Grand Rapids area.

Southwest Michigan fruit update

The latest report on fruit crops in Southwest Michigan was delivered by Mike Reinke, Extension viticulture specialist in Berrien County, Bill Shane, tree fruit production specialist and educator and Cheyenne Sloan, District 13 Extension blueberry and small fruit educator for MSU. They touted fruit crops are developing rapidly in southwest Michigan.

“We’ve observed variable bud development due to fluctuating temperatures,” the trio noted in the update. “However, recent warmer weather has been beneficial for fruit growth.”

Reinke’s update included information on tree fruit (apricot, peach, nectarine, cherry, apple and pear trees), and small fruits (grapes, blueberries, strawberries and brambles).

He also provided information on the MSU Extension blueberry team’s upcoming event, the Blueberry Pollination Meeting that will be held on May 15 at the Trevor Nichols Research Center in Fennville.

For more information, read the complete Southwest fruit update from MSU.

Northwest Michigan fruit update

Nikki Rothwell, district Extension horticulture educator, and Erin Lauwers, tree fruit integrated pest management educator for the Northwest region, provided this regional update.

“There are some concerns about low overnight temperatures in the forecast with the coldest night/morning predicted to be below freezing on Saturday night into Sunday morning, April 20-21,” Rothwell and Lauwers noted in the report.

Growers need to be vigilant and monitor temperatures and turn on wind machines if cold temperatures are associated with an inversion, the update shared. The report from Rothwell and Lauwers also reminded growers that the Williamsburg Enviroweather station is equipped with an inversion tower that can provide growers information regarding inversion events.

Crop development is progressing in the region.

“Montmorency and Balaton are both at side green as of this morning compared to last Friday when Balaton were at early side green, and Montmorency were at bud swell,” the report stated. “Sweet cherry are also at side green. Gala are at 0.25-inch green tip, and Honeycrisp are at green tip.”

For more information on the growth stages seen at Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center, read the full Northwest Michigan fruit update.

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