Michigan Blueberry Commission Research Priorities for 2023

  1. Develop management programs for native and invasive pests
    a. Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp, Spotted Wing Drosophila, nematodes
    b. Fungal disease pathogens, especially Anthracnose, including development and validation of disease prediction models
    c. Weeds, especially milkweed, horse nettle, hemp dogbane and perennial vines, timing of post emergence herbicides in fall for perennial weeds
    d. Study effects of field applied sanitizers, skin thickeners, and feeding stimulants on fruit firmness, disease control and insect control
    e. Surfactants/adjuvants, best application practices with herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and plant growth regulators

  2. Enhance blueberry yields and quality
    a. Best practices for removal of low yielding fields, site preparation strategies and field establishment techniques
    b. Better understanding of methods to increase fruit set, fruit size, and fruit quality including planting design, pollination, pruning, nutrition and water management, soil and foliar applied bio-stimulants
                a. Management systems that reduce labor inputs, especially harvest labor
    c. Breeding program to enhance selection for both plant hardiness and fruit quality
                a. Growth regulator uses to increase quality and yields and de-fruiting young plantings
    d. Irrigation efficiency research

  3. Variety Testing for Michigan viability
    a. Hardiness
    b. Size/quality
    c. Insect resistance
    d. Disease resistance

  4. Improving Farm Resiliency and Sustainability
    a. Climate Change
    b. Precision Agriculture
    c. Crop production Inputs

  5. Food Safety
    a. Production and Harvest Practices
    b. FSMA and GAP education to grower

Updated November 2022