Fruit

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Improving Strawberry Ergonomics

At Tanglewood Farm, Richard Barnes and Kelly St John have been experimenting with elevated cropping systems to reduce labor fatigue and improve fruit quality.

The American Kestrel: an IPM Friend for Michigan’s Fruit Growers

Cherry producers across the region are all too familiar with starlings, finches, voles, pocket gophers, and other animals that can wreak havoc on a cherry orchard by feeding on ripening fruit and developing roots or shoots. These little pests can be a big problem for Michigan’s cherry growers, who grow 75 percent of all tart cherries and 20 percent of sweet cherries in […]

Peer-to-Peer Food Safety Education Fruitful for Hmong-American Farmers in Minnesota

When the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2015, it included new provisions that regulate food safety requirements for some fruit and vegetable farms. This new federal food safety legislation, along with market-based audit programs like Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), can seem daunting to small-scale or diversified farmers. As a statewide Extension Educator for farm food safety at the University of […]

Apples for Artisanal Cider: Understanding the Characteristics of Single Varietals

Hard cider is a beverage that is rooted in history, dating back to 55 BC when the Romans discovered it in England. Today, it is emerging as a potentially fruitful business opportunity for modern and future producers. Two of the producers who have contributed to that growth are Wisconsinites Marie and Matt Raboin, who made their […]

The Fruit and Nut Compass: Developing a Tool and Guiding Principles for Diversified Farms

As interest in diversified perennial production grows, farmers across the region have been searching for sustainable ways to battle pests, tap into lucrative markets, and increase yields as they work to develop biodiverse agricultural ecosystems. Building on the concept of their Veggie Compass project, and the desire to develop whole farm profit management tools and […]

Sustainable Pest Management Approaches for Raspberry Growers

Spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) (Drosophila suzukii) is a gnat-sized fly that will damage ripe or ripening fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. Heather Leach, a Michigan State University graduate student in Rufus Isaacs’ Berry Crops Entomology lab says that in 2014, SWD caused estimated economic losses of $159 million in U.S. raspberry production (Burrack […]

Apples for Artisanal Cider: Understanding the Characteristics of Single Varietals

In 55 B.C., when the Romans reached England, they noticed villagers drinking an alcoholic apple drink. Many years and pints later, in the United States alone, hard cider production increased from 0.8 million gallons in 2007 to 5.2 million gallons in 2012 (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 2013). A couple of the producers who  […]

Integrated Strategies for Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Organic Small Fruit Production

This fact sheet covers the cultural, biological, and chemical control of spotted wing Drosophila in organic crops has been developed by Michigan State University (MSU) with support from SARE. It highlights multiple ways that organic producers of various sizes can integrate non-chemical control practices into their farming. It also includes guidance on monitoring for adult flies and for larvae in fruit, and shows the label restrictions for Entrust SC (the primary organic insecticide used to control this pest) for each of the susceptible crops. The document describes some new approaches to control of this pest that are currently in development at MSU.

Non-Profit and Producers Partner Up Around Agroforestry

Agroforestry helps farmers diversify products and income. Trees can produce an annual fruit or nut crop or a future timber harvest. Shrubs can be grown instead of, or with, trees and can produce a yearly crop. Forages and other fruit, vegetable, or specialty crops can be harvested for market or grazed by livestock. In addition to these harvests, tree and shrub crops can […]

Indiana School Raises Apples and Awareness

Forty-two percent of school districts surveyed by the USDA say they participate in farm-to-school activities, according to the 2015 Farm- to-School Census. That means as many as 23.6 million students are learning where their food comes from. Another 16 percent of school districts surveyed plan to start farm-to-school activities in the future. Farm-to-school activities can include […]