CONFERENCE SET FOR SMALL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE GROWERS
Growers from across the region will gather for the 2015 Gateway Small Fruit and Vegetable Conference on February 10 and 11. The 2-day program, sponsored by University of Illinois Extension, will be held at the Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon, IL. This is a new location for this popular 2-day conference. Registration starts at 7:45 a.m., and the program runs 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. each day.
Elizabeth Wahle, U of I Extension horticulture educator, says that the program includes presenters from University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, and from the small fruit, strawberry and vegetable grower support industry.
Tuesday, February 10th will feature Small Fruit School classes: Distinguishing Blueberry Disease from Physiological Disorders, Forward to the Fundamentals for Success with Blueberries, Strategies to Reduce Nuisance Wildlife Damage, Building a Market for Specialty Crops – Elderberry Case Study, Raspberry Diseases: How to Recognize and Manage Them, Setting Up a New Irrigation System for Small Fruit, plus more.
Also on Tuesday – Vegetable School classes: Building Productive Soils, Growing With a Marketing Plan in Place: Pumpkin Case Study, Food Modernization Act Update, Understanding Genetically Modified Foods, Industry Talk: New Products for 2015 from Rupp Seeds, Sweet Corn Insect Management, Disease Management Updates for Tomatoes and Cucurbits.
Wednesday will bring Strawberry classes: Producing a Clean Strawberry Crop, Working with Local Growers: A Chef’s Perception, Strawberry Weed Control, Grower Talk: Strawberries, Planting the Seed: An Introduction to Great Social Media Practices and for the mushroomer; New Crop Potential in Illinois: Mushrooms.
Also on Wednesday there will be a track on High Tunnels: Crops that Work Best in a Tunnel Environment, Site and Structure Considerations for High Tunnels, Caterpillar Tunnel Production, Comparing Pruning and Training Methods for Tunnel Tomatoes, Managing Cover inside for Winter Production and more.
Advance registration by February 6 is $40 per farm. Late and at-door registration is $50. The registration fee includes the 2015 Midwest Small Fruit Spray & Grape Spray Guide OR 2015 Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers. For more details and online registration, visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/mms/. Or, contact Patty Stanton by phone 618-344-4230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need disability accommodations to participate in this program, please call by February 6.