Two blueberry diseases ID'd in Michigan for 1st time

EAST LANSING, MI – State officials say two exotic diseases that attack blueberry plants have been identified in Michigan for the first time.

Michigan Department of Agriculture Director Don Koivisto said Monday in a statement that blueberry shock and blueberry scorch could cause "significant losses" to producers but are not threats to food safety or human health.

Blueberry shock was identified at a Michigan State University research station in Fennville and blueberry scorch virus was discovered at a west Michigan farm.

Government and university officials are working to eradicate the diseases but say neither has any known cure.

Michigan is the nation's leader in blueberry production, with 110 million pounds of berries valued at $124 million reported last year.