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Apples in tree
INDUSTRY GROWTH: The Michigan Apple Committee’s research priorities are set to support apple growers and industry success.

Michigan apple projects funded to advance industry

Apple Committee board approves $309,000 in funding for research led by Michigan State University.

The Michigan Apple Committee board recently approved $309,000 in funding for 2019 research projects, a key component of the committee’s mission.

“Members of the MAC Board of Directors select growers to serve on the research subcommittee,” says Diane Smith, executive director of MAC. “The subcommittee analyzes several research proposals and recommends funding to the board.”

MAC’s research priorities are set to support Michigan apple growers and industry success. Projects are targeted for improved profitability and production, development of new markets and products, and identification of consumer trends and facts.

“MAC accepts proposals from many different research institutions and centers of excellence,” Smith says. “We are fortunate to have a world-class agricultural institution right in our backyard with [Michigan State University], and this year, all of the proposals we received were from MSU researchers.”

For 2019, the board approved $309,000 in funding for several projects, varying from pest management to varietal research to harvest technology.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For information, visit

2019 funded research

Randolph Beaudry

  • Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere Storage: maximizing storability while reducing disorders, $33,474

Erin Bunting

  • Characterization of cold air movement in apple orchards using thermal infrared drone imagery and high-resolution topographic data, $11,192

Todd Einhorn

  • New thinning strategies to improve apple profitability and predictability, $27,159
  • Optimizing tree quality for early orchard establishment, $20,768
  • PGR strategies to reduce bitter pit of honeycrisp, $33,145

Larry Gut

  • Management of codling moth using sterile moth releases, $20,000
  • Managing BMSB to maintain fruit quality and profitability, $22,000
  • Pheromone-based mating disruption for managing San Jose scale, $18,000

Amy Irish-Brown

  • Apple maturity manipulation — use of ReTain, Harvista and Ethrel, $10,000
  • DrapeNet evaluation for increased fruit quality parameters, $5,520
  • Evaluation of multiple leader high-density apple training systems 2019, $10,000
  • Using sap analysis for honeycrisp nutrition and bitter pit management, $10,586

Nikki Rothwell

  • Exploring traditional and alternative control options for black stem borer, $9,124

Bill Shane

  • Evaluation of apple germplasm for the fresh and processing industries, $8,440
  • Evaluation of MAIA apple germplasm, $5,252

Marianna Szucs

  • Rearing and release of a classical biological control agent, the samurai wasp against brown marmorated stinkbug, $10,272

George Sundin

  • Shoot blight management with reduced rates of Apogee, Actigard and Coppers, $25,599

Steven Van Nocker

  • Optimization of gibberellin summer sprays for control of flowering and crop load, $14,988

John Wise                                                                                                                                          

  • Trunk injection control of black stem borer in apples, $13,697
Source: Michigan Apple Committee, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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