Demonstrating a Quick-Start Process to Help Small Blueberry Farmers Begin Transition To Organic Practices

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2014: $22,439.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Coordinator:
Frank Corrado
Moss Funnel Farms

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: berries (blueberries)
  • Animals: bees


  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, cover crops, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer
  • Farm Business Management: value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: hedges - grass, habitat enhancement
  • Pest Management: field monitoring/scouting, physical control
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures

    Project objectives from proposal:

    With the involvement of MSU researchers and our Extension Agent, we will attack some major organic transition problems:

    • How to build organic matter via amendments and cover crops
    • How organic practices can best be applied to deal with pests and diseases such as Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) and maggot
    • How to maintain yields with these new practices in the course of two seasons

    Some of the practices we will focus on:

    • Use of cover crops and liquid amendments such as teas, fish emulsion, and trace elements to increase Nitrogen
    • Use of mechanical weeding devices (Friday Hoe)



    • Varience in Yield – between 2013, 2014 and 2015

    • Differences in Inputs – charting movement to organics, cost variances

    • Soil Sampling year to year – with special emphasis on growth of organic matter and measurements for N

    • Sales using 2012 as a base year – Noting variances in product sales for “naturally grown” versus traditional methods

    • Change in farmer perceptions regarding use of organic methods (pre and post evaluation of participants


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.