Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Fruit Production
Blueberry conference set for July 25–28 in MI


July 5, 2010
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

July 2, 2010, East
Lansing, MI – The North American Blueberry Research and Extension Workers
Conference (NABREW) has been a key educational forum for blueberry researchers,
Extension educators and industry leaders since the first meeting in 1960.



July 2, 2010, East
Lansing, MI – The North American Blueberry Research and Extension Workers
Conference (NABREW)
has been a key educational forum for blueberry researchers,
Extension educators and industry leaders since the first meeting in 1960.

This year’s conference
will run from July 25–28 in Kalamazoo, MI.

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The conference will
include oral and poster presentations, and conclude with a one-day tour of the
Michigan blueberry industry.

A welcome reception kicks
the conference off on July 25. Sessions will include regional industry reports;
breeding and genetics; cultural practices; pest, disease and weed management;
organic production and post-harvest handling.

Dr. Mike Mainland of North
Carolina State University
will be presenting the keynote address, “The History
of North American Highbush Blueberry Culture,” on July 26.

Sessions on genomics and
organics will be the highlight on Tuesday, July 27, followed by a conference
dinner at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo complete with free flight simulator rides.

On Wednesday, July 28, the
2010 NABREW conference will conclude with an all-day tour of Michigan
blueberries.

Kalamazoo is located near
the major blueberry producing counties in Michigan with more than half of the
20,000 acres of blueberries in the state located between Kalamazoo and Lake
Michigan.

Michigan has had a
significant blueberry industry since the 1930s. The tour is designed to show
off many new developments in the Michigan blueberry industry as well as some of
the older production areas in the region.

The tour is designed with
relatively short travel time of approximately 30 minutes between stops to allow
plenty of time visiting the different tour stops.

Attendees will visit
several large blueberry farms, packing and processing facilities, and U-pick
and roadside markets that sell value-added products such as blueberry souvenirs
and preserves. Visitors will also view modern mechanical harvesting equipment
in the field.

Highlights of the tour
include:

  • A mature planting of
    Liberty and Aurora, two new Michigan State University varieties
  • New plantings of Draper,
    Bluegold and Liberty in several different management systems
  • Older fields of 40 years
    or more of Jersey and Bluecrop blueberries
  • A stop at The Blueberry
    Store
  • Lunch at Fenn Valley
    Winery
  • Tours of modern fresh
    market packing lines
  • A tour of a modern
    blueberry processing facility
  • A demonstration of new
    blueberry harvesting equipment
  • Dinner at a large modern
    U-pick farm market with an attached bakery

There will also be a bus
tour of South Haven, MI, and an opportunity to see Lake Michigan during the
scenic drive to lunch at Fenn Valley Winery.