In Michigan
6:53 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Blueberry virus strikes Michigan State University research center

SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP, MI – The bloom could be off Michigan's $124 million per year blueberry industry after two
destructive viruses infected bushes in three locations.

Particularly upsetting to scientists is where one of the outbreaks occurred -- Michigan State University's agricultural research station in Allegan County's Saugatuck Township, about four miles from Lake Michigan.

An outbreak of blueberry shock is forcing scientists to destroy plants that represent two decades and millions of dollars of research.

It will take years for new plants to mature so research can resume.

Blueberry scorch has been found on two Michigan farms, but so far authorities report no signs of further spread of either disease.