Check out these August meetings in Berrien County

Join us for a high tunnel production meeting, a grape growers meeting, and a hops workshop.

High tunnel meeting planned for August 3 at SWMREC

If you have been thinking about adding crop production in high tunnels to your operation, you will want to attend the twilight meeting that will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3, at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center (SWMREC). SWMREC is located at 1791 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, Mich. The meeting will provide an opportunity to view a number of current research projects underway in the tunnels and provide some ideas for potential crops and growing methods for you to consider. Some projects have been underway for several years, while others are new this year. Meeting attendees will see sweet cherries grown as fruiting walls, performance trials of blackberry cultivars, day-neutral strawberries grown with and without shading, fall red raspberries in gro-bags, vegetables and cut flowers. There is no charge for this meeting. Contact Diane Brown at the Berrien County MSU Extension office at 1-269-944-4126 for more information.

Grape growers meeting planned for August 10 in St. Joseph, Michigan

Dongvillo Vineyards will host the August 10 program. The vineyard is located at 4930 Niles Road, St. Joseph, Mich. This meeting will begin with supper at 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a grape berry moth management presentation by MSU entomologist Rufus Isaacs and updates from MSU horticulturist Paolo Sabbatini about research he is conducting at the vineyard. We will also have sprayer coverage comparisons using UV dye to show the extent of coverage on vines, using different types of sprayers, and spraying every row versus every other row. After dark, we’ll go out with black lights to view coverage under different spray regimes. The meeting will end around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. We plan to have dye samples available for growers to take home so they can evaluate sprayer output for their own sprayers. Two RUP recertification credits have been requested for this meeting. Registration includes supper and is $15 per person. So we can plan meal counts, please register by August 5 by contacting Linda Gustafson at the Berrien County MSU Extension office at 1-269-944-4126. Checks should be made out to Berrien County MSUE and mailed to 1737 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022.

Hops workshop scheduled for August 17 at SWMREC

Hops are a fast-growing and fascinating plant used for flavoring and preserving beer and ales, and in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. At this workshop, scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on August 17, you can learn about the history and uses of hops, what’s needed to set up trellises for a hopyard, requirements for growing, fertilizing and irrigating, common insect and disease problems and their management, and marketing opportunities for hops. Representatives from local microbreweries will be on hand to discuss hop characteristics and what they contribute to a brew (bittering, aroma, flavor). An instructional tasting of several styles of beer and ale will help to educate your palate and illustrate the differences imparted by using particular varieties of hops. If you have been considering starting a commercial hopyard, or just want to grow some for your batches of homebrew, this workshop will be a great introduction to get you started. Registration is $25 and includes lunch. Contact Linda Gustafson or Jamie Styburski at the Berrien County MSU Extension office at 1-269-944-4126for more information or to register. Please register by August 12 so we can have an accurate count for lunch. SWMREC is located at 1791 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, Mich.

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