2013 MSU Tree Fruit School to feature Peter Shearer and Kerik Cox, Feb. 13-15

Hear national experts Shearer and Cox on the impact of spotted wing Drosophila and brown marmorated stink bug, and fungicide resistance and disease management in orchards.

Dr. Peter Shearer, an entomologist from Oregon State University, and Dr. Kerik Cox, a plant pathologist from Cornell University, will be featured instructors at the 2013 MSU Tree Fruit School in Grand Rapids, Mich., Feb. 13-15.

On the first day of the two and a half day course, Shearer will share his experiences with two important new tree fruit pests in North America expected to have an impact in cherry and apple orchards in Michigan and the surrounding region: spotted wing Drosophila and brown marmorated stink bug. Participants in the course will learn about the experiences of cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest and how industry groups and a team of entomologists came together to develop management plans for dealing with spotted wing Drosophila in sweet cherries.

Shearer will also share his first-hand experience with brown marmorated stink bugs in apple and peach production areas of the east and west coasts. In addition, participants will be instructed on how to identify spotted wing Drosophila and brown marmorated stink bugs, distinguishing them from similar-looking insects, and will learn techniques for monitoring for these pests during two back-to-back, hands-on workshops led by Steve Van Timmeren and Peter McGhee of Michigan State University. Drs. Larry Gut, John Wise and Matt Grieshop of MSU’s Department of Entomology will put all of this into perspective in terms of the expected impact of these pests on current insect pest management programs for leaf rollers and other major and minor insect pests in conventional and organic orchards.

On the morning of the second day of the Tree Fruit School, Cox will share his knowledge about fungicide resistance management for controlling apple scab disease and managing apple powdery mildew on susceptible varieties. Cox will be joined by George Sundin, MSU’s tree fruit pathologist, and Nikki Rothwell, Director of the Michigan State University Extension Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center. Sundin will talk about how new SDHI fungicides registered for use in Michigan may be incorporated into disease resistance management plans for apple scab management and will cover concepts and strategies for controlling cherry leaf spot. Rothwell will round out the plant pathology sessions with an update on critical disease issues to keep in mind for 2013.

Participants will be able to earn up to 16 MDARD pesticide applicator recertification credits for category 1C, commercial CORE or private CORE by attending all three days of the School. Meeting times will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15. For more details about the entire program, please visit the event webpage to download a copy of the schedule.

Deadline for early registration is Tuesday, Jan. 29.  Registration is $210 per person or $310 after Jan. 29, which includes breakfast, lunch and snack breaks on Wednesday and Thursday, breakfast and snack break on Friday, a binder with all course materials, classroom facilities at the Eberhard Center and speaker expenses. Dinner is on your own.

Lodging is separate – please call the Holiday Inn Downtown Grand Rapids directly at 616-235-7611 to make your hotel reservation by Jan. 29 and be sure to ask for the MSU Tree Fruit School room rate. Room rates are $100/night for a double or $110/night for a triple quad plus applicable taxes.

To pay by check or money order, please download and complete the registration form and be sure to send it with your payment post-marked by Jan. 29. To pay by credit card over the phone, please call Carolyn Devereaux at 517-884-0392.

For more information about the program, please contact Julianna Wilson at 517-432-4766 or visit the program webpage.

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