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.
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:
- 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.
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.
POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 6/6/2019
The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America is reaching out to nearly 300 farms that grow saskatoons for sale. These farms are located throughout Canada and the United States. With the results of this survey the Institute expects to identify: 1) industry wide production expectations for 2019, 2) existing distribution options for harvested saskatoons, 3) issues that most challenge growers, and 4) changes regarding industry players and production since our last survey in 2015. The outcome will be a report entitled The State of the Saskatoon Berry Industry, 2019.
Each grower that completes and submits their survey will receive a copy of the complied report.
The deadline for farms to participate in the Saskatoon Growers Survey is Saturday, June 8, 2019.
2019 is shaping up to be a bumper crop for saskatoons. We have not yet received any reports of crop loss due to weather or other naturally occurring conditions.
If you are a grower, and have not yet received the survey, please click on Contact Us and request a copy of the survey. Please be sure to include your e-mail address in your communication.
If you are a consumer, and hope to acquire some saskatoons of your own later this summer, please click on Calendar to find a listing, by date, of availability in your area. Please note that many of our Institute members will not post their status until about 2 weeks before their fruit is ripe, so you may need to check in every week or two until your region has ripening fruit. Ripening dates vary by geographic region, so it would be unusual to see all growers posted on the same dates. Generally fruit is available in more southern areas as soon as early July, and in more northerly climates as late as mid-August.
About Saskatoons (also called Juneberries or Pacific serviceberries in some locations): Saskatoons (sometimes with the addition of the word berries) are a fruit that comes from Amelanchier alnifolia plants. While some suggest that saskatoons look like blueberries, they are actually a unique fruit with a very dark purple color (high in antioxidants), more firm that many berries, with a tangier, almost nutty taste. Saskatoons are part of the Rosaceae family. Its close relatives include many common fruits such as apples, plums, cherries, apricots and almonds. Saskatoons are great to eat fresh as well as baked. Some of the harvest is used to infuse wine and other alcoholic beverages. While hard to find in processed forms, they are also sought after in juice and powder forms. In some locations consumers buy find them frozen as well as dried.
About The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America: SBINA is an educational organization, both for growers and consumers. We neither buy or sell fruit or plants. Our goal is to see greater crop availability leading to more saskatoons being enjoyed throughout North America.
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 email@example.com 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.
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
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.
POSTED IN For Growers, For Members ON 7/13/2018
In this blog we have previously discussed Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), an invasive, relatively new fruit fly overspreading North America. While there are few reported cases of SWD affecting saskatoon berries, there is broader concern for many fruits. Therefore, we are sharing this article suggesting that there is good news regarding organic management methods for SWD. Rufus Isaacs has addressed Institute members on several other pests, but none that present such a fast growing threat to fruit crops as SWD.
While most fruit flies are only interested in fruit still hanging from bushes and trees, SWD seem content to continue their lifecycle in fallen and rotting fruit as well. So while some USDA practices call for allowing fruit to drop, this fiend uses such situations to its benefit.
It is our hope that our friends across both the US and Canada can take note of these new developments, and be encouraged as they pursue some of these methods.
You can read more at: New guide to organic management of spotted wing Drosophila released
or go directly to the full report at: Management Recommendations for Spotted Wing Drosophila in Organic Berry Crops
POSTED IN For Consumers ON 7/9/2018
Some Michigan U-Pick locations are already finished for 2018 due to this summer’s heat. Others may only make it another week or so.
If you have not yet picked a date for picking, and you are serious about getting some berries this year, please make plans soon.
To see which Institute members are still open for U-Pick this year, click on the Events tab at the top of this page, where you can see a calendar which provides hours and mapping information.
POSTED IN For Consumers ON 6/26/2018
Click on the Events tab (at the top of the page) to see a calendar display of where you can pick fresh fruit during the month of July!
Our members report their hours to help you find the best in fresh fruit.
POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 6/23/2018
Well, the weather appears to have been helpful for saskatoons as well as other seasonal fruit.
First off, at least some farms are seeing their fruit come in earlier than last year! Check out our directory for U-Pick locations, and by the end of this week the calendar on our website should also include actual hours for U-Pick for our members.
Secondly, a new dreaded pest seems to have been kept at bay. While Spotted Wing Drosophila (one of the newer fruit flies in the North America) had very little impact on saskatoons for most farms last year, Michigan State University reports that their development is even father behind schedule than last year, apparently related to weather. For more on that, follow this link:
So plan ahead! Figure out how you can get your fresh fruit before it runs out! Last year the season, for many growers, was only about three weeks long, and much of the fruit was picked before the end of the second week. Best wishes to you all in getting your 2018 supply in a timely fashion, and enjoying saskatoons fresh, and in so many yummy recipes!