This week, some Pine Island team members were able to attend the annual Summer Field Day at the Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research, sponsored by the American Cranberry Growers Association (ACGA). The field day is an opportunity for various members of the cranberry community to visit the research center and check out ongoing experiments from several of the center’s scientists as well as those from outside the region.
This year’s topics included the most recent findings with various ongoing studies, such as the current work on breeding for fruit rot resistance, scald and heat stress, fungus, and pest resistance, as well as research on the return of toadbug in the region. And of course, there was the ever-popular “show and tell”, where growers can demonstrate some of the latest tools or techniques they’ve been using on their own operations.
Both veterans and new team members learned a lot, as always. “We got to see a lot of projects we’re already familiar with and how they’re progressing,” says manager Mike Haines. “Like Jim Polashock’s talk on Mycorrhizae, Cesar with toadbug, and Peter with heat stress. And I always like to hear from Tim [Waller]; he really digs into the background of both what he’s doing and why he’s doing it.” Mike also enoys the chance to hear from people from different cranberry regions: “It was cool to hear the research from Wisconsin on pest resistance in different cranberry varieties.”
“It was a good lineup of speakers on variety subject matter,” says crop supervisor Tim Bourgeois. “It was a great chance for me to get a broad range of info, considering this is my first year in the business.” He was especially pleased at the social aspect. “The NJ cranberry community is a close-knit group of growers, which is always nice. It was a good day, a great experience, and a chance to make some new contacts and some new friends yesterday.”
And, of course, we would be remiss in not thanking the staff at Rutgers for all of their hard work yesterday as well as Dr. Cesar Rodriguez-Saona for setting up such an informative program. The cranberry community is fortunate to have such a resource close by to help us do what we do better every day!