August 2019 - 1

Michigan apple industry
investigates organic
High-Tech Tools
Study: Mechanical
pruning without
Taylor grows for chefs,
wine estate guests
August 2019 | Volume 58 |
Issue 8
Action, empathy urged
for stressed growers
By Stephen Kloosterman
Associate Editor
Headlines for years have repeatedly
announced crisis levels of farm stress,
but a surplus of spring rain in some
U.S. regions has made this season
particularly concerning.
In the Midwest, growers have had
less time to work outdoors. Disease
pressure, particularly in vegetables,
will be worse than usual later in the
year due to the moisture. Southwest
Michigan peaches suffered greatly in a
spring freeze.
While farmers of all sorts have serious
business concerns, fruit and vegetable
growers have specific problems. The
difficult labor climate, increased
regulation and buyer-mandated prices
for fresh-sold perishables leave growers
with little room to maneuver.
Officials are trying to help, offering
resources for mental health, as well
as practical advice for navigating
stressful business transitions. The
2018 Farm Bill included bipartisan
reforms to provide farmers with
critical support and mental health
resources. Extension specialists
across the country are writing articles
about how to recognize critical stress
levels in one's self, as well as others.
Michigan State University Extension
Educator Ron Goldy has organized a
day's worth of farm stress education
sessions at the Great Lakes Fruit,
Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO, held
December in Grand Rapids.
The educational sessions will cover a
variety of topics. One goal is to simply
get growers talking about their feelings
- " Lots of times, in my experience,
growers don't like to admit they have
a problem, " Goldy said - but another
goal is to offer up some practical
See STRESS, page 5
Early apple outlook appears good
By Gary Pullano
Managing Editor
The total 2019 U.S. fresh and
processed apple production was
estimated at 267.2 million 42-pound
boxes, at the Premier Apple
Cooperative meeting in Syracuse, New
York, on June 25.
The forecast indicated a 9% rise
from 2018, with both Washington
state and Michigan crops anticipating
a 14% increase.
USDA reported the final total for
2018 is 244.2 boxes, below the record of
282 million in 2014.
A June report issued by Dawn
Drake, manager of the Michigan
Processing Apple Growers Division
of the Michigan Agricultural
Cooperative Marketing Association
(MACMA), indicated the Michigan
apple crop is recovering well from
2018, when the season was crimped
by a frost. Other tree fruit crops also
were faring well.
In southwest Michigan, crop potential
was reported to be good with the
exception of inconsistent return bloom
on Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp and
Jonagold in most of the area. Apple
quality appeared to be good with some
areas of light hail damage reported.
Excessive rain and cooler than normal
conditions in May and June created
challenges for disease control and
chemical thinning. The tart cherry crop
harvest was expected to begin the week
of July 7. Apple maturity is believed to
be about 5-7 days behind normal.
On the Fruit Ridge near Sparta,
Michigan, chemical thinning was
complete; some varieties needed very
little chemical thinning. Return bloom
on most Honeycrisp and Golden
Delicious was less than desirable.
See OUTLOOK, page 6

August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2019

August 2019 - 1
August 2019 - 2
August 2019 - 3
August 2019 - 4
August 2019 - 5
August 2019 - 6
August 2019 - 7
August 2019 - 8
August 2019 - 9
August 2019 - 10
August 2019 - 11
August 2019 - 12
August 2019 - 13
August 2019 - 14
August 2019 - 15
August 2019 - 16
August 2019 - 17
August 2019 - 18
August 2019 - 19
August 2019 - 20
August 2019 - 21
August 2019 - 22
August 2019 - 23
August 2019 - 24
August 2019 - 25
August 2019 - 26
August 2019 - 27
August 2019 - 28