MSU’s Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center at Traverse City, Michigan, received funding for $50,500 of facility improvements from the MTFC in 2019. Photo: Gary Pullano

Feb 25, 2022
MSU presents funding requests to Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

Michigan State University (MSU) researchers gave presentations on their 2022 funding requests to the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission (MTFC) board of directors at the MTFC meeting on Feb. 23.

The MTFC was established by a producer referendum to collect an assessment on Michigan’s apples, cherries, peaches and plums to support tree fruit research.

Four funding requests came from MSU faculty members.

Hannah Burrack, chair of the Department of Entomology, asked for funding to support the research work of the new fruit entomologist soon to be hired by MSU.

Courtney Hollender, assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture, explained her funding request for peach and plum plantings to study plant architecture.

Greg Lang, professor in the Department of Horticulture, explained his funding request for bird netting units to protect his sweet cherry research trials.

George Sundin, professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, explained his request for irrigation materials to establish a research orchard for bacterial canker and his request for trees for greenhouse studies of fire blight and cherry leaf spot.

Funding requests also came from MSU’s five, off-campus, research stations.

The most significant funding requests included:

–Tree planting and an irrigation well at the West Central Michigan Research and Extension Center at Hart. The presentation was made by Jim Kells, professor and MSU AgBioResearch assistant director.

–New tree plantings at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center at Traverse City. The request was presented by Nikki Rothwell, the station coordinator.

–A fruit texture analyzer for the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center at Benton Harbor, as presented by Bill Shane, the station coordinator.

–Renovation of the wet lab at the Trevor Nichols Research Center at Fennville.  The renovation will help with tree fruit bioassays and analyses. The center also requested equipment for better worker protection. The funding requests were presented by John Wise, the Center’s research coordinator.

–An upgrade to the refrigeration system used for fruit research at the Clarksville Research Center at Clarksville as presented by Ben Darling, station coordinator.

The final decisions on which requests will be funded will be made at the MTFC’s board meeting on March 23.

“This gives the board time to really think about the requests and make the best decisions on what to fund,” said Jim Nugent, a fruit grower from Suttons Bay, Michigan, and MTFC chair.

The funding decisions will be made in consultation with MSU AgBioResearch which also contributes funding toward capital improvements at the five research stations

The March 23 meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Michigan Apple Committee office at 13750 S. Sedonia Parkway, Suite 3, in Lansing, Michigan, and is open to the public.

Dean Peterson, FGN Correspondent


Current Issue

On-farm AI: Water, farm, labor research guide decisions

Data collection tool expands farm management

Carmel Valley winegrapes: Parsonage Village Vineyard

IFTA Yakima Valley tour provides orchard insights

IFTA recognizes tree fruit honorees

Pennsylvania recognizes fruit industry professionals

Fresh Views 40 Under 40

see all current issue »

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands

produceprocessingsm Organic Grower