Michigan Blueberry Commission Talking Points

  • The Michigan Blueberry Commission became official on May 30, 2017.
  • The Michigan Blueberry Commission was voted in by a favorable margin of 74%.
  • The seven members have been hard at work since the inception of the program, writing, voting, and approving multiple guiding principles, policies, and procedures that will shape the Commission’s operating structure.
  • The MBC has applied for, and was successful, in attaining $30,000 through MDARD’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, to be used for “start-up” and “initial set-up” of the program. Website, logo and brand development, etc were among the purchases thus far, with more to come.
  • The MBC held one of their regular meetings on MSU’s campus, complete with meeting researchers, extension folks, and faculty, who are and will be continued partners with the blueberry industry. The meeting culminated with a luncheon with MSU-Ag Bio Research/ Extension leadership, where questions were raised, and priorities were expressed to the college.
  • Held a meeting at 2017 Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo, in front of growers who attended the blueberry break-out session.
  • To Date, the MBC has assessed, and collected nearly $266,684, representing 88,894,795 lbs of blueberries, and this money will be leveraged to support critical, industry driven research projects, benefiting Michigan’s Blueberry producers.
  • The MBC has been successful in receiving money through the Rural Development Grant Fund, to establish a 5 acre, state of the art blueberry planting at the Trevor Nichols Research and Extension Center in Fennville. We will be combining $30,000 of grower assessed dollars along with $100,000 of grant dollars to fund the project.
  • Research priorities have been set by the Michigan Blueberry Commission, and they are:
    1. The development of pest biology and control management programs (blueberry stem gall wasp, spotted winged drosophila).
    2. Enhancing Michigan Blueberry Yields
      1. Best Practices for removing and replanting of low performing fields
      2. Methods to increase and maintain high yields
    3. Blueberry stem gall wasp control materials are needed
    4. Spotted winged drosophila management techniques and management materials
    5. Pesticide resistance management in crop protection materials being used to control invasive pests, pathogens, and diseases, including but not limited to SWD, and blueberry stem gall wasp.
    6. Creating and environment of better understanding of pesticide efficacy, residues along with the impacts of pesticide inert ingredients and adjuvants on fruit quality, wash off rates and maximum residue limits.
  • The MBC continues to make great strides in establishing a program that will provide optimum return on investment, to Michigan’s Blueberry Growers, and we are excited about the research programs that will be funded and reported on towards the end of 2018.