Project Name: RosBREED

  • Contact: Amy Iezzoni, MSU Department of Horticulture
  • Website: RosBREED

Funded by the 2009 USDA-NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, RosBREED is a national effort in research, infrastructure establishment, training and extension for applying marker-assisted breeding (MAB) to better deliver improved plant materials for crops in the Rosaceae family. The Rosaceae family includes apples, peaches, sweet and tart cherries and strawberries. Rosaceae genetics and genomics are developing rapidly, but have not been translated to routine practical application. Included among the specific project objectives are to increase the likelihood of new cultivar adoption by speeding up the selection process for new cultivars with desired traits, enlarge market potential and increase consumption of rosaceous fruits by using socio-economic knowledge of stakeholder values and consumer preferences to inform plant breeding.

Project Name: Solid Set Canopy Delivery System (SSCD Project)

  • Contact: Matt Grieshop, MSU Department of Entomology
  • Website: Canopy Delivery

This is a USDA-SCRI-funded Coordinated Ag Project with a research and extension team from Michigan, Washington and New York.  The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate a solid-set canopy delivery (SSCD) system for apples and cherries – a completely innovative way of applying protective chemicals and nutrients to these crops.  The focus of the first two years of this project has been on engineering, horticulture and pest management issues and how the system compares in terms of coverage and efficacy to the standard airblast sprayer system. In addition, the system is being tested as a tool for delayed bloom via mist-cooling.

Project Name: NC-140 Regional Rootstock Research Project

  • Contact (Michigan): Greg Lang, MSU Department of Horticulture 
  • Website: NC-140

The goal of this project is to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of tree fruit production through changes in rootstock use. The NC-140 Regional Research Project evaluates rootstocks to select those best suited for the North Central Region as well as other parts of temperate North America. Also, part of this project is the evaluation of different canopy training systems in sweet cherries. The project involves researchers from multiple states and is multi-disciplinary.

Project Name: The Integrated Crop Pollination Project

This multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, USDA-SCRI-funded project is designed to investigate the performance, economics and farmer perceptions of different pollination strategies in various fruit and vegetable crops. Integrated Crop Pollination (ICP) is defined as “The combined use of different pollinator species, habitat augmentation, and crop management practices to provide reliable and economical pollination of crops.” This approach is analogous to integrated pest management in that the goal is to provide decision-support tools to reduce risk and improve returns through the use of multiple tactics tailored to specific crops and situations. The long-term goal of the project is to develop and deliver context-specific ICP recommendations on how to effectively harness the potential of native bees for crop pollination.

Project Name: Limiting Bird Damage to Fruit Crops

Fruit producers have identified bird damage as a critical issue that has received limited attention from researchers. This transdisciplinary, multi-state team is funded by a USDA SCRI grant to address preventing bird damage to blueberries, cherries, wine grapes and ''Honeycrisp'' apples with a systems approach. The long-term goal of the project is to provide producers with cost-effective, environmentally sustainable bird management strategies.