Status update on organic blueberries in Michigan.
The Great Lakes Region is an important region of blueberry production in the U.S., producing 30% of the annual U.S. production. In Michigan, blueberry acreage increased from 17,724 acres on 590 farms in 2002 to 21,758 acres on 840 farms in 2007. However, despite considerable market potential for organic blueberries, less than 1% of total Michigan blueberry acreage is organically certified. There is high interest and demand for organic blueberries from the Great Lakes Region, and the Michigan State University Blueberry Team has been working on organic production methods over the past 4 years. The establishment of the Michigan State University Organic Blueberry Research and Extension Planting on the Michigan State University campus has been one of the major accomplishments of the Michigan State Uuniversity research team. The objective of this project has been to study practices associated with soil health, nutrition, disease, and insect and weed control. Additional organic blueberry projects in Michigan have focused on studying the interaction of blueberry mulches and compost on nutrient release, and on-station and on-farm testing of OMRI-approved pesticides.