Oct 24, 2011
Vegetable growers have a lot to learn at the 2011 EXPO

Vegetable growers have a lot to learn at the 2011 EXPO

This year’s Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO will offer a variety of educational sessions and special events. There should be something of interest for everyone attending. The 2011 EXPO is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6, through Thursday, Dec. 8. Here’s just some of what is being planned.

Education sessions

A number of vegetable and fruit commodity sessions will be offered. Sessions on topics of general interest include a session on food safety audits on Tuesday and a session on hoop houses and high and low tunnels on Wednesday.

For growers with farm markets, morning and afternoon farm market sessions will be offered Tuesday and Wednesday. These sessions will offer a number of interesting and informative presentations, including several “show and tell” discussions by successful farm marketers. A farm marketers’ roundtable session to share successful marketing ideas will be held Tuesday evening.

Four in-depth workshops are being planned for farm marketers on Thursday. One workshop will feature John Stanley, who specializes in helping perishable retail businesses to grow their bottom line and expand their market base. This year’s bakery workshop will include Joy Grose, Bakery Consultant for Farm Markets from Sparland, Ill., who will give a demonstration on bread baking. A third workshop will provide information on direct marketing beef.

Here’s a closer look at some of the vegetable education sessions, which begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday. For the full schedule, go to the EXPO website.

Asparagus. Mary Hausbeck, Leah Granke and Brian Cortright, Michigan State University (MSU), will give an update on asparagus disease research; Daniel Brainard, MSU, will give an update on irrigation research; Zsofia Szendrei, MSU, will review the latest research on asparagus miner ecology and management; Randy Beaudry, MSU, will talk about post-harvest storage and handling; John Bakker will give an update from the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board.

Pickling Cucumber. Bernard Zandstra, MSU, will talk about cucumber weed control; Hausbeck will talk about controlling diseases under extreme production conditions; David Lowenstein, University of Wisconsin, will discuss maximizing pollination; James Hanson, Midwest Pickle Association, will talk about optimizing calcium rates.

Tomato/Pepper/Eggplant. Erik Runkle, MSU, will talk about controlling transplant height with Sumagic; Rick Foster, Purdue University, will compare new and old insect pests of tomatoes and peppers; Sally Ann Miller, Ohio State University (OSU), will talk about bacterial and seedborne diseases; Hausbeck will close by talking about foliar diseases and fruit rots.

Vegetable educational sessions will resume at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Potato. Russell Groves, University of Wisconsin, will discuss emergence phenology of CPB and its relationship to resistance; Kurt Steinke, MSU, will cover utilizing slow-release nitrogen in potato production; Fred Springborn, MSU, will talk about new weed and pest issues in transporting equipment and will give an update on MSU potato breeding; William Kirk, MSU, will give an update on disease.

Pumpkins and Other Halloween Crops. Jim Jasinski, OSU, will talk about pumpkin seed production in Ohio; Vince Lawson, Iowa State University, will evaluate ornamental corn cultivars; Sally Miller, OSU, will talk about managing downy mildew; Mary Gardiner, OSU, will discuss the role of local habitat in pollination and biological pest control.

Sessions will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Cover Crops. Mathieu Ngouajio, MSU, will talk about optimizing the performance of brassica cover crops in vegetable systems; Zachary Hayden, MSU, will explore mixing cereal rye and hairy vetch for improved performance; Tim Harrigan, MSU, will talk about slurry seeding; Dan Baas, MSU, will discuss a cover crop selection tool for vegetable cropping systems.

Onion. Kimberly Reddin, National Onion Association, will list the top 10 ways to add value to onions; Hausbeck and Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca, MSU, will discuss anthracnose and pink root; Zandstra, MSU, will give an update on weed control; Szendrei, MSU, will give an insect update.

Sweet Corn. Hal Hudson, MSU, will talk about planting systems for small-scale producers; Rick Foster, Purdue, will explore the challenges of producing a clean crop; Brainard, MSU, will talk about the value of cover crops; Derrill Kregel, Rispens Seeds Inc., will talk about seeds.

Sessions will resume at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Carrot. Emily Sneller, MSU, will talk about fertilizing carrots; Russell Groves, University of Wisconsin, will discuss new technologies to combat aster yellows; Brainard, MSU, will talk about carrot density and seed priming research; Hausbeck, MSU, will give an update on disease; John Bakker, Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, will give an update on a development program for the carrot industry.

Celery. Hausbeck, MSU, will try to make sense of anthracnose; Zandstra, MSU, will give an update on weed control.

Cole Crops. Erin Haramoto and Daniel Brainard, MSU, will discuss the effects of tillage and cover crops on cabbage; Rick Foster, Purdue, will talk about insect management in cole crops; Sally Miller, OSU, will discuss disease management; Zandstra, MSU, will talk about weed management.

Vine crops. Vince Lawson, Iowa State University, will explore whether or not degradable mulches will work in melon production; Richard Hassell, Clemson University, will discuss grafting melons; Josh Freeman, Virginia Tech University, will talk about the effects of watermelon pollenizers on yield.

Sessions will resume at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Fumigation. Soil fumigation and fumigation management plans: How do these impact you? Hear from EPA officials on what the current Phase 2 plans are – the required buffer zones and what is in their “tool box” to help you comply; hear from a consultant who has written plans and how he is dealing with them; hear from a large applicator business that is trying to abide by the newly developed rules. This will be an opportunity for those who apply fumigants or have them applied to hear from the experts and ask them questions.

Identifying and Enhancing Natural Enemies in Vegetables. Mary Gardiner, OSU, will discuss beneficial insects; Megan Woltz, MSU, will talk about flowering plants; Alexandria Bryant, MSU, will talk about the impact of strip-tillage on natural enemies in cabbage; Brett Blaauw, MSU, will discuss the influence of surrounding landscapes on ecosystem services in crop fields.

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