We look to MSU for a lot of expertise on fruit production that is simply not available in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinios or Iowa. The most recent issue of MSU’s Futures magazine includes an eight page story about extreme weather and its affect on the Michigan fruit industry.
The story goes into detail about March 2012 abnormal temperatures and subsequent drought, and the bitter cold of last year’s winter, including some of the new strategies that fruit growers are using to take some of the risk out of growing fruit in extreme weather conditions. One we haven’t talked about much is to delay bloom.
The article discusses apples, peaches, wine grapes, small fruits, turfgrass, turkeys and wheat. It talks about the Enviro-weather automated weather stations (74 in Michigan, and 6 in Door County. Talk to Matt Stasiak if you want to put one in your Driftless orchard). In fact, the winegrape growers held an all-day conference on this topic and have posted the presentations here. Hint: many of the presentations apply to fruit generally.
The article also shares highlights from a new book “Climate Change in the Midwest: A synthesis report for the National Climate Assessment”. It is intended for educational purposes on college campuses, and also to help industry stakeholders make informed decisions. You can download the book free-of-charge.