Weathering the Climate: Michigan State fruit industry stories

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 raps, small fruits, turfgrass, turkeys and wheat. It talks about the Enviro-weather automated weather stations (74 in Michigan, and 6 in Door County). In fact, the winegrape growers held an all-day conference on this topic and have posted the presentations here.

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.