Blueberry pest? Don’t guess—test!

The Michigan Blueberry Commission is partnering with MSU Plant & Pest Diagnostics to cover the cost of testing fees for up to two samples per grower in 2022.

Blueberry stems
Photo by Cheyenne Sloan, MSU Extension

A new program supported by the Michigan Blueberry Commission is being piloted in 2022. This program, funded by the Michigan Blueberry Commission, will cover the testing fees for up to two samples per Michigan blueberry grower. The samples will be evaluated and tested as appropriate by specialists in the Michigan State University Plant & Pest Diagnostics lab. If there is anything concerning or puzzling in your blueberry field, be sure to take advantage of this opportunity. There are many different analyses the Plant & Pest Diagnostics lab does, including nematode analysis, soil pH and nutrient testing, some virus testing, blight and canker identification, and insect pest detection and identification. Instructions for sending in samples can be found in the sample submission form.

Throughout this season, Michigan State University Extension will be publishing short, timely articles to provide information about proper sample collection and submission to help you and the lab get the best results. Proper problem diagnosis starts with high quality, representative samples. Some general tips and tricks for sending samples into the diagnostics lab:

  • Before shipping your sample, make sure it is still crisp and fresh. Dead plant material has limited diagnostic value.
  • Choose tissue/plants that are symptomatic but not dead.
  • Insects should be intact and sent in a small, leak-proof container filled with white vinegar to preserve the tissue.
  • Email pictures of both the symptoms and the pattern in the field. These can help give more context to the problem and aid in finding answers.
  • Complete a sample submission form, providing as much information as possible.
  • Overnight or priority delivery is recommended; do not ship samples on a Friday. Samples can also be dropped off on campus. The lab is located in the Center for Integrated Plant Systems (CIPS) building. Ship samples to: MSU Plant & Pest Diagnostics, 578 Wilson Road, East Lansing, MI 48824-6469.

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