"Growers will have an opportunity to see, taste and learn about these new cherry varieties that we've been testing," Rothwell says. "Wallace and Wanda are growers that we collaborate with on these new varieties, and their contribution has been invaluable. Their nursery work is giving us vital information on how to make new varieties commercially viable."
MSU has also been collaborating Cornell University associate chair of department of horticulture Susan Brown (recently named associate director of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station), on various subjects.
"In working toward developing new sweet cherry varieties, we want to give growers the option to try fresh market cherry production as well," Rothwell says. "Michigan has historically been a production cherry state, which is definitely the backbone of our industry. Now we want to give those growers who are interested the chance to grow fresh market cherries. We have many large cities in and close to Michigan, so the market opportunity is definitely there."
Other topics that will be discussed at the event include:
•Spotted-wing drosophila management.
•High efficiency sweet cherry training systems.
•Sweet cherry covering systems (Cravo, VOEN, Haygrove, bird netting).
•Tart cherry hedgerow systems for over-the-row harvesters.
The event will also feature an orchard technologies question-and-answer session.
Presenters include Amy Iezzoni, professor of horticulture and cherry breeder; Amy Irish Brown, MSU Extension educator; Larry Gut, professor of entomology; Bill Shane, senior MSU Extension specialist; and Ron Perry, professor of horticulture.
"With all the new growing systems and technologies that MSU has worked on, I think growers in our state are going to have a lot more opportunities to improve their current production, try new techniques and break into new markets," Rothwell says.
The showcase is sponsored by MSU Extension, Summit Tree Sales and International Plant Management. For more information, call 1-800-424-2765. There is no registration fee, and a complimentary lunch will be served.