Seminars set for fruit and vegetable growers

By Errol Castens/Daily Journal Oxford Bureau

VERONA – Truck farmers and orchardists have the chance for two full days of seminars at the annual North Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference and Trade Show, Feb. 14 and 15, at the Lee County Agri-Center.
“The program at this meeting is expanding each year as more and more growers become involved in the association,” said Scott Cagle, conference organizer and Chickasaw County Extension coordinator.
Morning sessions will explore vegetable production, marketing, schools and local produce, bramble production, irrigation, local ag research, and tomato diseases.
Afternoon breakout sessions will have tracks for five different interest areas:
• Fruits: blueberry production, best varieties for Mississippi, blackberry production, spotted wing drosophilia control, weed control, orchard management, fruit tree diseases and grafting
• Vegetables: greenhouse production and tomato varieties, pumpkin production, high-tunnel vegetable production, grower experiences, vegetable diseases, strawberry production, weed control
• Organics: insect control, organic certification, growing organically, summer cover crops
• Agritourism: enhancing tourism on your farm, education on the farm, one farmer’s experiences
• Beginning growers: getting started, major plant pests, hightunnel flowers, USDA funding sources
fruits, vegetables, organics, agritourism and beginning growers, covering subjects as varied as strawberry, blueberry and blackberry production; tomato and pumpkin production; organic growing, insect control and certification; agritourism and agri-education, fruit tree weed control, diseases and grafting; high-tunnel flower and vegetable production; vegetable varieties and weed control; and new grower startup and USDA funding sources.
“Other fruit and vegetable producer meetings are held around the state, but this meeting is geared to our smaller-acreage producers in north Mississippi and is aimed at trying to meet their specific production needs,” said Jeff Wilson, extension horticulturist.
The $20 conference registration covers a one-year association membership, monthly electronic newsletters during the growing season, informational materials and lunch both days of the conference. On-site registration begins at 7:45 a.m. each day, and sessions begin at 8:15 a.m.
For more information or to preregister, contact a county Extension office.

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