2014 Preseason fruit IPM meetings in Southwest Michigan on March 13 and 19

Fruit growers need to analyze their pest and disease control strategies for the 2014 growing season.

As we shiver through the 2014 winter, spring and the growing season seem far away. Every March, Michigan State University Extension fruit educators Bill Shane and Mark Longstroth meet with Southwest Michigan fruit growers to share new information with fruit growers before the beginning of the growing season. Part of the meeting is a review of changes in the MSU Extension’s Michigan Fruit Management Guide (E-154), including newest management information for fruit insects and diseases, and the proper use of new pesticide chemistries being introduced in 2014. Another important part of the meeting is the sharing by growers of their concerns from 2013 and looking forward to 2014.

Two evening meetings are scheduled with one each in Berrien and Van Buren counties. The Berrien County meeting is scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, 2014, at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center (SWMREC), 1791 Hillandale Rd., Benton Harbor, MI. The Van Buren County meeting will be the following week in Lawrence, Mich., at 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at the Lawrence Conference Center at 490 South Paw Paw St., in Lawrence, MI.

Each meeting will cover the same material focusing on new and changed pesticide labels, pesticide spray timing and mode of action, effectiveness and longevity. Pesticide resistance management and insect and disease management models will also be discussed. Other topics will include bee safety during pollination and controlling the new invasive pest spotted wing drosophila (SWD).

Shane will concentrate on tree fruits Longstroth will cover small fruit such as blueberries, grapes, raspberries and strawberries. Two RUP Private, Commercial or 1C credits will be available. There is no pre-registration or registration fee. All fruit growers are invited to attend and participate.

A limited number of Michigan Fruit Management guides will be available for purchase at the meeting for $25. They can also be ordered online at the MSU Extension Bookstore.

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