Workshop to help fruit crop growers prepare after harsh winter

March 3 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Commercial fruit growers will meet March 10 in Martinsville to learn how the harsh winter of recent weeks might affect their crops this growing season.

A workshop will be held at the Morgan County Purdue Extension office, 180 S. Main St., beginning at 9 a.m.

After a moderate summer last year, Indiana had a relatively mild winter until a recent blast of unseasonably cold temperatures that have plummeted below zero.

“One can only guess what the coming spring and summer will bring in the way of stresses on both trees and the next fruit crop,” said Hancock County Extension educator Roy Ballard, an organizer of the workshop.

Ballard said it is important for commercial tree fruit and small-fruit growers to have the latest production information. Participants will meet with other growers and Purdue University fruit specialists to build on their fruit production knowledge and skills.

“While there may be little that growers can do to control the weather, there are a variety of available tools and techniques to help produce healthier trees and vines and to protect them from the damage caused by insects and disease,” he said.

Workshop presenters will include Purdue specialists representing the departments of entomology, botany and plant pathology, and horticulture, each focusing on different aspects of modern fruit culture and crop protection.

Topics and presenters include:

* Effective disease management strategy to control common fruit diseases: Janna Beckerman, professor of botany and plant pathology.

* Update on control options for common mites, curculio and codling of moths: Rick Foster, professor of entomology.

* Update of anticipated crop conditions and what cultural practices are available to manage tree health and improve fruit quality and yield: Peter Hirst, professor of horticulture.

* Private Applicator Recertification Program: Ballard. Private pesticide applicators wanting to be recertified should bring their PARP card, identification and $10 to cover the recertification fee.

There is no fee to attend the workshop, but participants should register by contacting Ballard at 317-462-1113 or

Writer: Carlee Glassburn, 765-496-2384,

Source: Roy Ballard, 317-462-1113,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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