Mar 25, 2021
Michigan research farm offers grower-oriented field trials

Kent City, Michigan-based LTI Ag Research LLC begins its inaugural year of apple field research with an emphasis on grower profitability and specific issues that face Midwest growers.

Change in the fruit industry is outpacing the research that is readily available to growers. In addition, the gap between current research and what is relevant to the industry is widening.

According to a news release, LTI Ag Research (LTI) aims to bridge that gap with a focus on profitability to back your on-farm business decisions.

“LTI offers a unique spin on the typical research farm,” said Tye Wittenbach, manager of LTI. “We hope to bring together a group of forward-thinking growers in a setting that is conducive to new ideas in the tree fruit industry.” LTI will take these new ideas, develop trials and share updates with its members along the way.

Tye Wittenbach

LTI offers a business structure that allows growers more involvement in the research process. Growers who chose to become members of LTI will have more transparency to research trials than simply receiving a packet full of data at the end of each season.

Research update meetings will be held throughout the year to keep the members up to date on progress and results of trials. Research meetings give growers a chance to see the trials firsthand in the field and discuss progress and new ideas with other industry progressive growers. Any new ideas for the industry are welcomed by LTI and put to the test.

LTI is based on an 80-acre high-density orchard in the heart of Michigan’s fresh market fruit-growing region. Research trials will take place primarily on the main farm, but off-site trials are being conducted where the varieties and environment are conductive to gathering more accurate data.

LTI is currently developing field trials for the 2021 growing season as well as taking on new grower members.

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