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Producers Vote to Establish Tree Fruit Marketing Program
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The state’s tree fruit producers have approved a referendum to establish the Michigan Tree Fruit Research & Development Program, according to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams.


Source: MDARD

Contact: Jennifer Holton, MDARD, 517-284-2724

Producers Vote to Establish Tree Fruit Marketing Program

The state’s tree fruit producers have approved a referendum to establish the Michigan Tree Fruit Research & Development Program, according to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams.

Clover Adams said that the program was proposed to improve the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan tree fruit industry by supporting the fruit research stations, research and extension programs. The goal for this program is to keep Michigan’s tree fruit industry on the cutting edge of new technology as well as implementation of new research that keep Michigan’s farmers economically viable in the world market into the future.

Of the 253 valid ballots received, 181 producers voted yes (72%) representing over  544,000,000 pounds (81%) and 72 producers voted no (38%) representing over 130,000,000 pounds (19%).  For the program to be adopted, more than 50 percent of the producer votes cast and more than 50 percent of the total production amount represented on the cast ballots, must approve the proposal.  The referendum was conducted from February 17 through February 28, 2014.

The Michigan Tree Fruit Research and Development Program will be administered by a committee of nine members appointed by Governor Rick Snyder – and fully funded by assessments on apples, cherries, peaches, and plums.  The Program calls for a maximum assessment of $2.50 per ton for cherries sold; 4 cents per CWT. for apples sold: $2.00 per ton for peaches sold; and $4.50 per ton for plums sold. The commission can use a sliding scale to set the assessment rate on any given year and vary the rate up and down as priorities are set by their spring meeting.  The commission may set a lesser rate for categories of fruit with a lower grade or value.

The effective date of the program is April 1, 2014.

To review a copy of the Director’s Order and the Michigan Tree Fruit Research and Development Program, please visit www.michigan.gov/mdard.