Improving educational resources for Michigan fruit growers
Fruit growers in Michigan face many challenges that can have huge impacts on their businesses.
Fruit growers in Michigan face many challenges that can have huge impacts on their businesses. The resources provided by sources such as Michigan State University Extension are crucial for providing growers with ways to tackle unfavorable weather patterns, resistant pests, market changes and other farm management obstacles.
In 2017, Michigan State University Extension fruit educators surveyed 1,100 growers across the state to determine the effectiveness of the various educational resources. The data demonstrated that stakeholders used the resources generated by the fruit team, had knowledge improvements and used this information to make behavior changes. Additionally, offering a suite of resources – online, printed and personal communication – helps to reach diverse audiences. Of those surveyed, 242 responded representing 36 counties in Michigan and most of the fruit crops grown in Michigan.
- 70% of the respondents revealed that MSU Extension helped them protect or enhance their farm’s fruit crop profitability.
- The top six most useful resources included Enviro-weather (23%), Michigan Fruit Management Guide (16%), contact with an MSU Extension educator (16%), MSU Extension News articles (13%), MSU websites (11%) and local in-season Integrated Pest Management meetings (10%).