The 2022 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO will be held Dec. 6–8 at the DeVos Place and Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
As usual, the EXPO will include a trade show floor full of vendors and educational sessions covering multiple fruit crops. There also will be two labor sessions, a session on farm succession planning and a session on business and next-generation development with a panel of young leaders.
The morning of Tuesday, Dec. 6, a general fruit session will cover best application practices of pesticides, biological fungicides, innovative tree fruit insect management and new products and changing practices for small fruit disease management.
An apple session Tuesday afternoon will provide an entomology update and sessions on soil health, the soil microbiome and shoot blight.
A Tuesday afternoon grape session will cover canopy and trellis systems, managing vineyard insect pests and vineyard mechanization.
There will be an apple variety showcase on Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday, Dec. 7, Michigan State University professor Greg Lang will give a 25-year overview of his research in fresh sweet cherry production during a morning cherry session. The session also will cover attracting predatory birds to sweet cherry orchards, fresh-market sweet cherries and the use of bacteriophages to control bacterial canker.
A morning peach/plum session will cover planar peach and plum systems, growth regulators for peach thinning, innovations in high-density training systems, new fresh-market peach and plum varieties and Greg Lang’s overview of the stone fruit industry.
A Wednesday afternoon blueberry session will cover viruses, clean plants, new and emerging diseases and blueberry research.
An afternoon apple session will cover bitter pit mitigation, precision technologies, precision crop load management, plant growth regulators and new technologies for predicting fruitlet abscission.
A morning session on Thursday, Dec. 8, will cover hard cider, including sales trends, apple trials and bitter pit susceptibility of cider cultivars.
A trade show stage, sponsored by Valent, will host 45-minute, Q&A-style sessions where experts answer questions about fruit production. Topics will include new technologies, MSU’s Enviroweather system, produce safety and carbon sequestration. The Valent stage will be located at the back of the trade show hall.
Special events include the prayer breakfast and banquet, both of which will be held Wednesday, Dec. 7. During the banquet, the Michigan State Horticultural Society (MSHS) will hand out two distinguished service awards.
Attendees can also visit the redesigned Farm Market Hall, where professional painter Randall Higdon will paint a fruit and vegetable scene. Small roundtable discussions also will be held throughout the event. A farm market bus tour will be held Monday, Dec. 5, the day before the EXPO starts.
The MSHS Trust will sell EXPO-branded apparel from its booth in the Grand Gallery, to raise money for fruit industry research.
Register early to receive the early-bird discount and have a badge mailed to you, so you don’t have to wait in line Tuesday morning. Registration opened Oct. 14, and the early-bird discount ends Nov. 15.
For more information, visit: glexpo.com.
—by Matt Milkovich