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August 27, 2015

Alabama Cooperative Extension System

As Alabama farmers look to improve production and their bottom line, the Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Fall Conference Nov. 19 and 20 in Clanton will give producers the most recent information and research.

Hosted by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), the event includes farm tours, workshops and a trade show.

ACES entomologist and commercial horticulture program coordinator Ayanava Majumdar said this annual conference is an asset for fruit and vegetable farmers, who are a valuable part of the state’s economy.

“We want to reach producers with the quality farming information that they need,” Majumdar said. “We hope holding (the conference) on a Thursday and Friday in a more central location will make attendance easier.”

Registration for the event, held at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center, begins at 7:30 a.m. Nov. 19 and is followed by a general session at 8:30 a.m. The second day of the conference opens at 7:30 a.m. and will end around 2:30 p.m.

On Thursday, producers will tour the fruit farm operation at Petals From the Past. They will also visit the Chilton Research and Extension Center to learn more about ongoing research into fruit production in orchards and high tunnels and plasticulture production of vegetables and strawberries.

Workshops Thursday afternoon and Friday morning will address topics including pest management in sweet corn and squash, controlling vegetable diseases and new ways to market products. The conference is geared toward commercial producers, but Majumdar said anyone interested in learning more about fruit and vegetable growing would benefit from attending.

Registration is $100 for the first member and $75 for the second member. The trade show cost is $300 per booth with two people.

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