Michigan Blueberry Commission Research Priorities (2022)

Research is MBC’s paramount investment, and we aim to support Michigan State University’s top tier staff, educators, scientists in the fruit industry through industry sourced funding, and grant opportunities to provide solutions to our top priorities.

  1. Blueberry Research In LaboratoryDevelop management programs for native and invasive pests.
    1. Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp, Spotted Wing Drosophila, nematodes
    2. Fungal disease pathogens, especially Anthracnose, including development and validation of disease prediction models.
    3. Weeds, especially milkweed, horse nettle, hemp dogbane and perennial vines, timing of post emergence herbicides in fall for perennial weeds.
    4. Study effects of field applied sanitizers, skin thickeners, and feeding stimulants on fruit firmness, disease control and insect control.
    5. Surfactants/adjuvants, best application practices with herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and plant growth regulators.
  2. Enhance blueberry yields and quality
    1. Best practices for removal of low yielding fields, site preparation strategies and field establishment techniques.
    2. Better understanding of methods to increase fruit set, fruit size, and fruit quality including planting design, pollination, pruning, nutrition and water management, soil and foliar applied bio-stimulants.
    3. Management systems that reduce labor inputs, especially harvest labor.
    4. Breeding program to enhance selection for both plant hardiness and fruit quality.
    5. Growth regulator uses to increase quality and yields and de-fruiting young plantings.
  3. Lowering the financial impact of chemical inputs on the farm while maintaining quality fruit.
  4. Food Safety
    1. Production and Harvest Practices
    2. FSMA and GAP education to growers

Blueberry Research In Laboratory

  • Pest biology and control management programs for invasive and problematic pests such as Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp and Spotted Wing Drosophila
  • Pesticide resistance management
    • SWD Insecticides
    • Fungicides
  • Better understanding of impact of pesticide inerts and adjuvants on efficacy and fruit quality
  • Enhancing Michigan blueberry yields
    • Best Practices for removing and replanting of low performing fields
    • Methods to increase and maintain higher yields
  • Methods to increase pollination in blueberry
  • Better understanding of Phomopsis control
  • Development and validation of disease prediction models

Adopted: June 29th, 2017

Revised:

  • Items item 2 previously 3rd
  • Item 3 previously item7
  • Items 1 and 3 amended/revised