More than a dozen educational sessions for tree fruit and grape growers will be offered during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo to be held December 810 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The expo includes a large trade show with over 300 companies exhibiting their products and services in the DeVos Convention Center.

A special agricultural technology session will help producers of high-value crops learn about new technologies that could serve their production and farm management needs, such as hand-held computer hardware and software and precision agriculture technology with applications to fruit and vegetable cropping systems. Discussions will focus on practical considerations related to making wise investments in new technology.

Special events during the expo include a tour of farm markets, fruit variety showcase, cider contest, Industry Outlook luncheon, Michigan apple growers luncheon, annual meeting of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, and the awards banquet featuring Steve Ford, son of former President Gerald Ford.

Educational sessions for tree fruit and grape growers include:


Tree fruit

9:00 a.m. Irrigation 101 – Nikki Rothwell, Michigan State University.

9:30 a.m. Exploring tree fruit innovations for the future Nathan Milburn, Milburn Orchards, Elkton, Maryland; Sidney Kuhn, Kuhn Orchards, Cashtown, Pennsylvania; Ben Wenk, Three Springs Fruit Farm, Gardners, Pennsylvania; Maggie Reid, Reids Orchard, Orrtanna, Pennsylvania; Jen Snavely, Adams County Nursery, Aspers, Pennsylvania.

10:00 a.m. Developments in technology and automation for tree fruit – Katie Ellis, Pennsylvania State University.

10:30 a.m. Trends in U.S. pear production – Rachel Elkins, University of California.

Apple I

2:00 p.m. Orchard weed management Doug Doohan, Ohio State University.

2:30 p.m. Apple scab: Fungicide resistance update and current disease management George Sundin, MSU.

3:00 p.m. Codling moth management in apples Larry Gut, MSU.

3:20 p.m. Review of 2009 USDA GAP audit process Dawn Drake, Michigan Processing Apple Growers, Paw Paw, Michigan.

3:40 p.m. Apple cost of production Phil Schwallier and Amy Irish-Brown, MSU.

4:30 p.m. Fruit Variety Showcase.

Wine grapes

9:00 a.m. Managing potato leafhopper in wine grapes – Rufus Isaacs, MSU.

9:30 a.m. New sustainable grape varieties: Results from trials in southwestern Ontario – Hans Peter Pfeifer, Ontario Grapes Consulting, Ontario, Canada.

10:00 a.m. Cold hardy wine grapes from Minnesota – Peter Hemstad, University of Minnesota.

10:45 a.m. Modification of cluster compactness and susceptibility to fruit rot in Riesling grapevines – Tom Zabadal, Paolo Sabbatini, and Jennifer Wells, MSU.

11:00 a.m. Canopy management in Pinot Noir: Effect on fruit quality Paolo Sabbatini and Tom Zabadal, MSU.

Grape: Sustainability in the Vineyard

2:00 p.m. Development of a sustainable protocol for grape growers in southwestern Ontario Hans Peter Pfeifer, Ontario, Canada.

2:30 p.m. Mechanization strategies for profitable production of Concord grapes Tom Zabadal and Paolo Sabbatini, MSU.

3:00 p.m. Grape decline diseases in Michigan Annemiek Schilder, MSU.

3:30 p.m. Controlling grape berry moth using a phenology model and new insecticides Rufus Isaacs, MSU.

4:00 p.m. Evaluation of strategies to achieve sustainable production of Concord grapes in Michigan Paolo Sabbatini and Tom Zabadal, MSU.



9:00 a.m. Improving stem retention in briner sweet cherry production Jim Flore and Nikki Rothwell, MSU.

9:20 a.m. Testing over-the-row harvesting options for tart cherries Ron Perry and Dan Guyer, MSU.

9:40 a.m. Recent findings on cherry fruit fly and borer management Larry Gut, MSU.

10:05 a.m. Viruses and viral diseases of cherries Simon Scott, Clemson University, Georgia.

10:35 a.m. Investigating fungicide rainfastness Erin Lizotte and John Wise, MSU.

GAP Audits What Auditors Look For

9:00 a.m. Overview of GAP audits Tom Kalchik, MSU.

9:15 a.m. USDA GAP audits Colleen Bess, Michigan Department of Agriculture.

10:00 a.m. NSF-Davis Fresh Audits Ed LaClair, NSF-Davis Fresh Technologies, Lake Placid, Florida.

10:45 a.m. Questions and discussion.

High Tunnels and Low Tunnels

10:00 a.m. Future trends for high tunnels in the U.S. Lewis Jett, West Virginia University.

10:30 a.m. Wine grape production in high tunnels Josh Rhem, Mutual Farm Management, Traverse City, Michigan.


9:00 a.m. Overview of MSU Enology Education Program Paul Jenkins, MSU.

9:20 a.m. Education and training for Michigans wine industry Tom Smith, MSU.

9:40 a.m. Growing wine in the Great Lakes State Linda Jones, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council.

10:00 a.m. Macro-aeration versus micro-oxygenation: What is the difference and when is each appropriate Jeff McCord, StaVin, Inc.

2:00 p.m. Application of micro-oxygenation in maturation of wine Jeff McCord, StaVin, Inc.

2:45 p.m. Educational wine evaluation: The effect of oxygen on wine Paul Jenkins, MSU

Stone Fruit

2:00 p.m. Michigan State University plum rootstock project Mira Danilovich, MSU.

2:20 p.m. Viruses and viral diseases of stone fruit Simon Scott, Clemson University, Georgia.

3:00 p.m. New Jersey experiences with new peach, nectarine, and pluot varieties Jerry Frecon, Rutgers University, New Jersey.

3:40 p.m. Understanding peach brown rot problems in Michigan Bill Shane, MSU.

Apple II

2:00 p.m. Review of apple support systems Mo Tougas, Tougas Family Farm, Northborough, Massachusetts.

2:30 p.m. Management strategies for secondary apple pests John Wise, MSU.

2:50 p.m. How to grow high-quality apples – Mike Wittenbach, Wittenbach Orchards, Belding, Michigan.

3:10 p.m. Summary of Honeycrisp storage recommendations across the U.S.: What is best for Michigan? Randy Beaudry, MSU.

3:40 p.m. Technology to save energy in storages Phil Schwallier, MSU, and Frank VanKempen, EnerSave, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Ag Technology

2:00 p.m. Various presenters will discuss new technologies for high-value crops and practical considerations for making wise investments.


Organic Tree Fruit:

Pest Management and Marketing

1:00 p.m. Solving the puzzle of mating disruption of seslid borer pests in cherry, peach, and apple David Epstein, Luis Teixeira, Matt Grieshop, and Larry Gut, MSU.

1:20 p.m. Organic options for orchard disease management George Sundin, MSU.

1:40 p.m. Organic Tree Fruit Association: A new voice for organic tree fruit Harry Hoch, Hoch Orchard and Gardens, La Crescent, Minnesota.

2:00 p.m. Marketing strategies for organic tree fruit panel discussion Jim Koan, Al-Mar Orchards, Flushing, Michigan; Steve Tennes, Charlotte, Michigan; and Harry Hoch, Hoch Orchard and Gardens, La Crescent, Minnesota.

3:00 p.m. Organic Tree Fruit Association meeting