Eco-Fruit program promotes smarter, safer farms

Apple Branches

Photo by Flickr user Dawn Perry, used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Yesterday’s issue of the digital newsletter Inside UW-Madison included a cool story featuring some work on campus to support Wisconsin’s apple farmers:

Apple growers wanted to find the best way to grow apples. Agricultural scientists wanted to reduce pesticide use on Wisconsin farms. These groups, starting with different objectives, found one solution that benefited them both: eco-fruit farming.

The Eco-Fruit Program began as a collaboration between the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) and several apple growers around Wisconsin. CIAS project leader Michelle Miller spearheaded the program in 2000, and since then it has served nearly 100 apple and berry growers from more than 20 counties.

The Eco-Fruit Program’s main focus is reducing grower reliance on pesticides that are hazardous to themselves, consumers and the environment, while also supporting growers in finding the best farming practices.

For the full piece, including an overview of “integrated pest management” and plenty of informative links, head here.

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