Mar 30, 2020
Response deadline April 30 for Michigan small fruits and hops survey

The Michigan State Horticultural Society has received a $75,000 grant to use for a small fruit and hops acreage inventory and labor survey.

This Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) is funded through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development from USDA as part of the farm bill. The SCBG program is designed to help states create, enhance or expand specialty crop agriculture development ventures across the state.

The Michigan State Horticultural Society (MSHS) contracted directly with the National Agriculture Statistics Service’s (NASS) Michigan Field Office to conduct the survey.  They have already sent out the survey and all responses need to be returned by April 30, 2020.

The fruit covered in this survey include brambles, cranberries, grapes and strawberries. New this year, saskatoons and hops have been included in this survey for the first time.

“The last time this survey was completed was 2014,” said Ben Smith, executive secretary for the MSHS. “There have been some dramatic shifts in acreages planted and varieties selected in the last few years. The data provided from this survey is critical to understand future research needs, aid growers making planting decisions, inform processors as they plan for future supply, and develop new, relevant marketing programs.”

Two of the more noticeable changes to the Michigan fruit industry in the last five years are hops and saskatoons. Hop acreage has increased dramatically and the industry will benefit from a complete survey of the state. Saskatoons are an up-and-coming fruit being grown primarily in the northwest.

The survey asks for acreages and varieties planted as well as a few other relevant details. Growers who have not returned their surveys should do so soon.

Once the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order is lifted, NASS will follow up with those who have not sent back their survey with an in-person visit or phone call.

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