Stone Fruit IPM for Beginners

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 6/29/2019

Have you developed a Integrate Pest Management program for your orchard?

If not, this resource is likely to be helpful in thinking through the various considerations: https://www.canr.msu.edu/ipm/agriculture/fruit/stone-fruit-ipm-for-beginners

Many saskatoon growers also grow a variety of other fruits and vegetables, and attempt to juggle the common challenges, as well as the unique challenges of each crop. In this environment, understanding which pests will spread from their ‘preferred’ diet to other crops, and which new arrivals will threaten which crops, can be quite complex.

While many call the fruit ‘saskatoon berries’, saskatoons are actually a pome fruit, like apples and pears. Stone fruits includes single pit fruit, such as peaches, plums, cherries, mangoes and almonds. Even with this difference, pome fruit and stone fruit have some common pests.

This referenced document is not a complete manual on how to handles pests, but whether you are new to this approach, or are still willing to learn more, a review of the document is likely to provide some seeds for further thought.

Bird Damage Management

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 6/29/2019

Here are a couple of recommendations from saskatoon growers to help reduce bird damage to otherwise harvestable saskatoon crops:

  1. Netting: After  few years of significant bird loss, Jacques Orchards did a trial plot of bird netting last year. They were so pleased that they covered the orchard this year (adding the lesson learned about making sure that the netting touched the ground all the way around). This year things are looking very good. The photo below shows what they netting looks like.  It can be removed for partial harvest, and then the bushes can be covered again until later in the season.
Net Over Saskatoon Bushes

2. Helpful Birds: Encouraging Kingbirds can be a great option.  Kingbirds eat insects, but not much fruit, and they are scrappy, so often scare off other birds, including flocking birds, that want your saskatoons as their entree, over and over again.

There are 2 identified types of Kingbirds: western and eastern.

Learn more about Kingbirds at: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Western_Kingbird/overview

Kestrel Hawks are another option: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Kestrel

By providing an appropriate habitat, you may be able to entice these preferred neighbors.

The Annual Meeting is Upon Us

POSTED IN For Members, Uncategorized ON 1/16/2019

Our annual meeting is tomorrow – Thursday, January 17 (and all are welcome). Please be sure to RSVP to Dr. Elsner at elsner@msu.edu so he can plan accordingly.

By way of reminder:

Location is Grand Traverse County Michigan State University Extension Office, 520 West Front Street, Traverse City, MI, 49684.

Social time from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Official Annual Meeting begins at 7:00 PM.

Among other procedural items, the agenda will include our annual election of board members and a presentation by Duke Elsner entitled “Looking Back and Heading Forward- the MSU Connection”.

This is a great opportunity to meet growers, review lessons learned over the past year, and talk about what is coming up in 2019.

Northwest Michigan Orchard and Vineyard Show – 2019

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 1/4/2019

The Northwest Michigan Orchard and Vineyard Show is coming up on January 15th & 16, 2019 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Northern Michigan. Come see us at our trade show booth! Let’s talk saskatoons.

For more information on the show, go to: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/events/2019_northwest_michigan_orchard_and_vineyard_show

Annual Meeting Scheduled

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 12/18/2018

Attention: Institute Members

Our annual meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 17th. 

This is not your official notification – just a head’s up.

We will meet at the conference room at Michigan State University Extension in Traverse City. 

Bring a saskatoon snack to share at 6:00 PM. The official meeting will comet to order at 7:00 PM with election of 2019 board members and a presentation on lessons learned over the last year.


2018 Northwest Michigan Orchard and Vineyard Show Program Detail

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 1/12/2018

The link below provides a pdf of the program for the 2018 Northwest Michigan Orchard and Vineyard Show.

Saskatoons are a featured part of the program, though a variety of fruits will be discussed. 

2018 Northwest Michigan Orchard and Vineyard Show

The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America will have a booth at the show, as well as participate in the various programs.

Northwestern Michigan Orchard & Vineyard Show

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 1/12/2017

Come join us for the Concurrent Saskatoon Session on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 at The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. Our day-long session will include presentations on insects (identifying, impacts and options), pruning, SBINA activities over the last year, and the Novel Berry GREEEN Grant. For more information, check out our calendar post at http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/events/ and click on the event listed for January 18, 2017.

SBINA’s 2017 Annual Meeting

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 1/12/2017

Attention members: Our annual meeting will be held on Thursday, January 19th, 2017. You should have already received an announcement via email, so this is a reminder. You can get more detail at http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/events/  Click on each event to see more information about times, locations and descriptions.

Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference To be Held on Saturday, January 28th, 2017

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 1/12/2017

The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America will have a booth at the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference (http://www.smallfarmconference.com). Along with about 100 other organizations, we are promoting farming as a career (including second careers), and encouraging education and development of peer communication. Come see us on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (https://www.grandtraverseresort.com).

How Rainfast Are Your Applications?

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 7/22/2016

Growers can take steps to take care of their bushes, but how rainfast are your efforts?

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 11.25.26 AMAs growers know, pesticides are a double-edged sword. One wants to provide as much good fruit as possible to customers (who among us likes to eat damaged fruit?) while, at the same time, assuring that the fruit is healthy for consumption. Of course this is not a simple calculation. Atmospheric conditions, including rain, wind and temperatures need to be factored in – a factoring that sometimes needs occur daily as the weather changes.

Then there are the variables for different types of treatments, because not all treatments have the same characteristics regarding weather. And, off course, application methods must be considered, a challenge even for the most experienced.

So here are two resources that you may find helpful in your planning:

Rainfast Characteristics of Insecticides on Fruit from John Wise, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Entomology

Minimum Interval From Application to Rainfall for Post Herbicides provided by Sims Fertilizer and Chemical, Osborne, KS