An Oct. 19 field day will allow the new Michigan State University West Central Michigan Research and Extension Center to showcase its new facilities, ongoing research projects related to tree fruit, and future planting and research plans.
The AgBioResearch and MSU Extension Field Day is from noon to 3:30 p.m.
In August 2021, MSU and West Central Michigan Horticultural Research Inc., a nonprofit organization created to develop a research center to support the agricultural systems in Oceana, Mason and Newaygo counties, opened the research and Extension center focused on tree fruit agriculture in Hart.
Attendees of the field day are eligible to earn four Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development certified pesticide applicator credits and three certified crop adviser credits.
The field day will provide the first opportunity for guests to learn more about the research being done at the center, as well as the many benefits the center will provide for the residents of the region.
Situated on 68 acres of farmland located at 5185 N. Oceana Drive in Hart, the center has the capacity to study peaches, tart cherries, pears, and tart cherries with plans to expand with new plantings of sweet cherries and apples in 2022.
The field day is open to the public and free. Registration is encouraged but not required.
The field day will feature:
- lunch featuring a vendor showcase
- event introduction by AgBioResearch Director Doug Buhler
- meet and greet with new tree fruit Extension educator Emily Lavely
- field-site overview and peach thinning demonstration presented by John Bakker, interim on-site manager
- foliar and trunk injection delivery of biopesticides for control of pear psylla, presented by John C. Wise, a professor in the MSU Department of Entomology, and Research and Extension coordinator of the MSU Trevor Nichols Research Center
- a vision for the west-central tree fruit industry, navigating the future together, presented by Lavely
- cherry leaf spot control with protectant fungicides, presented by George Sundin, a University distinguished professor and Extension specialist in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at MSU
- a detailed look at nematodes, tree growth and replant challenges, presented by Marisol Quintanilla, an applied nematologist at MSU
- enviroweather station to provide critical data for tree fruit management, presented by Keith Mason, an enviroweather coordinator in the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences at MSU