One-day vegetable school covers pest control, irrigation, new rules
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Illiana Vegetable Growers School designed to help growers better manage their operations -- big or small -- will be Jan. 5 in Schererville, Ind.
"There will be something for everyone, whether they're growing vegetables for grocery stores and restaurants or direct selling at farmers markets and roadside stands," said Liz Maynard, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service regional horticulture specialist. "Participants will learn the latest on insect and disease control, irrigation systems and new marketing opportunities."
The school will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CST) at Teibel's Restaurant, located at U.S. 30 and U.S. 41. Pre-registration, which is $23 per person and includes lunch and materials, is encouraged by Dec. 29 to ensure a meal. Registration will be accepted at the door for $25 per person. A registration form with the complete agenda is available at the Purdue Fruit and Vegetable Connection Web site, http://www.hort.purdue.edu/fruitveg/ and then click "Events," or the PDF version is downloadable at http://www.hort.purdue.edu/fruitveg/events/IVGS_Brochure_2010_1117.pdf. Individuals with registration questions should call the Purdue Extension office in Lake County at 219-755-3240.
Maynard said this year's Illiana Vegetable Growers School, sponsored by Purdue Extension and University of Illinois Cooperative Extension, will have a concurrent session in the afternoon. Participants will have the choice of learning about marketing opportunities or irrigation systems for vegetable crops.
"Irrigation systems are extremely valuable risk management tools," she said. "Indiana and Illinois usually have enough rainfall to keep crops alive, but it's really important for product quality and maintaining good yields."
Lyndon Kelley, Purdue Extension irrigation specialist, will discuss how to get started with an irrigation system, options available and things a grower should think about, as well as better managing existing irrigation systems.
Also on the program is Kris Thomas, Indiana State Department of Health food scientist, who will explain Indiana's new rules about selling homemade food at farmers markets and roadside stands.
"Growers need to understand the new rules," Maynard said. "Participants may learn about new value-added opportunities that exist or that they don't meet the criteria or qualifications to sell homemade goods."
Other topics include an update about Western bean cutworm in sweet corn, aphids in cucurbits, and insect management; top 10 fungicide picks for 2010; late blight of tomato and potato; Driftwatch, an online registry for pesticide sensitive crops; using pesticides without harming bees; sustainability; high tunnels; farmers market opportunities; and pumpkin, sweet corn and tomato variety performance data.
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