Jun 8, 2016
MSU to host High Tunnel Fruit Production Tour

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension will host a tour and discussion of organic and conventional fruit production under high tunnels. The 2016 High Tunnel Fruit Production Tour will be held Tuesday, July 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Horticulture Teaching and Research Center, 3291 College Road, Holt, MI 48842.

Photo: MSU Extension
Photo: MSU Extension

Rufus Isaacs and Heather Leach of MSU Entomology will discuss insect management approaches. Annemiek Schilder of MSU Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences will discuss disease challenges, and Eric Hanson, Greg Lang and Josh Moses of MSU Horticulture will review production systems and tunnel management. MSU organic agriculture outreach specialist Vicki Morrone will be on-hand to review general organic production topics.

High tunnels are relatively low cost, greenhouse-like structures that have been shown to increase yields and quality of several fruit crops, according to MSU Extension. Beginning in 2010, organic and conventional production of red raspberries, sweet cherries and blackberries have been studied under an acre of multiple bay high tunnels (Haygrove Tunnels LTD) at the East Lansing, Michigan, site.

Some of the current research goals at the site are to: determine the benefits of tunnels for double cropping raspberries; assess the benefits of exclusion netting and harvest frequency for managing spotted wing Drosophila populations in raspberries; determine the impact of tunnels on pesticide efficacy; investigate using a rotating cross arm trellis system for consistent production of blackberries; and determine the best sweet cherry varieties and training systems for tunnel environments.

The High Tunnel Fruit Production Tour is open to anyone; no pre-registration is required. For more information or questions, call Eric Hanson at 517-353-0386.

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