Michigan Tree Fruit Research and Development Program Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

Apr 4, 2024
Michigan tree fruit research program reapproved

With a 63% approval, Michigan’s apple, cherry, peach and plum producers have approved a referendum to continue the Michigan Tree Fruit Research and Development Program.

Established in 2014, the Michigan Tree Fruit Research and Development Program was developed to improve the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan tree fruit industry by supporting the fruit research stations, research and extension programs, according to a news release.

Michigan Tree Fruit Research and Development Program Michigan Tree Fruit MTFC logo

 

The goal for this program is to keep Michigan’s tree fruit industry on the cutting edge of new technology as well as implementation of new research that keep Michigan’s farmers economically viable in the world market into the future, according to the release.

The program is a public body independent of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is comprised of nine tree fruit producers appointed by the governor. MDARD Director Tim Boring and a person appointed by the Michigan State University Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources serve as non-voting ex-officio members.

The program will continue for an additional five years, beginning April 1 and ending in March 2029.

Michigan tree fruit may be assessed at these maximum rates for fruit sold:

  • $2.50 per ton for cherries
  • 4 cents per CWT. for apples
  • $2.00 per ton for peaches
  • $4.50 per ton for plums

A total of 152 valid ballots were cast in the referendum. In the balloting, 96 producers voted yes (63%). The yes votes represent 294.8 million pounds of apples, cherries, peaches, and plums, 55% of the state’s production, according to the release.

Voting against the continuation were 56 producers, which was 37% of the vote. Those represent 239 million pounds of tree fruit, accounting for 45% of the state’s production, according to the release.

For renewal of the program and its activities, more than 50% of the voting producers, representing more than 50% of the production of those voting, must have approved the continuation, according to the release.




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