Preseason fruit IPM meetings March 22 and 24 in southwest Michigan

These preseason meetings are an update for fruit growers on pest and disease control strategies for the 2016 growing season.

Buds will soon start to swell with warm, spring weather. These apple buds are at green tip.

Buds will soon start to swell with warm, spring weather. These apple buds are at green tip.

Fruit growers are invited to the preseason integrated pest management (IPM) update meetings, hosted by Michigan State University Extension fruit educators Bill ShaneBrad Baughman and me. Included is a review of important changes in the new 2016 MSU Michigan Fruit Management Guide (E0154), including management information for fruit insects and diseases. We will discuss useful findings from recent fruit research projects and the proper use of new pesticides. An important part of the meeting is growers sharing their concerns from 2015 as they look forward to 2016.

Two evening meetings are scheduled: a Berrien County Fruit Update and a Van Buren County Fruit Update. The Berrien County meeting is 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center, 1791 Hillandale Rd, Benton Harbor, MI 49022. The Van Buren County meeting will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, at the Lawrence Conference Center, 490 S Paw Paw St, Lawrence, MI 49064.

Each meeting will cover the same material focusing on new and changing pesticide labels, pesticide spray timing and pesticide 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. Shane, a tree fruit educator, will concentrate on tree fruits. As a small fruit educator, I will cover small fruits such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Baughman, the Berrien County small fruit educator, will cover grapes. Two RUP Private, Commercial or 1C credits will be available.

All fruit growers are invited to attend and participate. Registration is free and available online (visit the Berrien County Fruit Update and Van Buren County Fruit Update registration pages). Growers can also register at the door before the beginning of the meeting.

A limited number of Michigan Fruit Management guides will be available for $25 at the meeting, cash or check only. They can also be ordered at the MSU Extension Bookstore.

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