Vegetable, small-fruit production webinar series to start Dec. 19

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A series of monthly, Web-based seminars covering topics related to vegetable and small-fruit production issues will kick off Dec. 19.
   
Presented by Penn State Extension's Vegetable and Small Fruit Program Team in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the monthly webinars will be offered from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, with time for questions and answers.

Aimed at those involved in commercial production of vegetables and small fruits on any scale, the webinars will provide access to timely updates in commercial vegetable and small-fruit production for extension educators, producers and industry representatives in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.

"Because these presentations are so convenient and don't require participants to travel, they are ideal for busy growers," said Lee Stivers, extension horticulture educator. "No software downloads are needed, and registration gives you access to handouts and recordings. So even if you miss the live webinar, you can catch it on the recording."
 
Stivers noted that in addition to providing easy access to the timely information about key vegetable-production issues, the webinars serve as an online forum that allows participants to interact with researchers, extension educators and other farmers.

"This webinar series was a big hit last year, with 144 people registered," she said. "They were mostly Pennsylvanians, but we also had folks from surrounding states and even Canada. Between 85 and 95 percent of participants last year indicated they learned something they would use in their own operations."

Planned webinar topics include the following:

-- Dec. 19: Irrigation in a Hot, Dry Season. "This one offers basic information, but it is so fundamentally critical to producing a high-quality crop," Stivers said.

-- Jan. 8, 2013: Nutrient Management and Fertigation. "Best management practices for managing irrigation and fertilizer nutrients are especially important in the Chesapeake Bay watershed," she said.

-- Feb. 20, 2013: Good Ag Practices (GAPs) Farm Food Safety Update. "In this webinar, registrants will get the latest updates on the GAPs harmonization program, a very recent development in farm food-safety regulations," Stivers explained.

-- March 13, 2013: Recognizing and Protecting Pollinators for Vegetables and Small Fruit Production. "This one will give research updates on honeybees and other pollinators," Stivers said. "This information is so important in the wake of colony collapse disorder."

-- March 27, 2013: Cucurbit Pest Management Strategies: Organic, Biorational and Conventional. "Pest management in cucurbits -- vine crops -- is always a challenge, particularly for organic farms," Stivers said. "Participants will learn the latest in what works and what doesn't with organic, biorational and conventional strategies. This webinar will extend until 2:30 p.m."

The cost for the webinars is $10 per session or $35 for the entire series of five. The fee includes access to hand-outs and webinar recordings.

Register for the webinars online at http://agsci.psu.edu/vegetable-production-webinars or by phone at 724-627-3745. For more information, contact Stivers at 724-554-8815 or by email at ljs32@psu.edu.

Related publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension Vegetable and Small Fruit Production website (http://extension.psu.edu/vegetable-fruit), covering topics such as vegetable gardening, organic vegetable and fruit production, potato diseases in Pennsylvania, ever-bearing strawberries, fungicide resistance management, mid-Atlantic berries and commercial vegetable recommendations.
 

Contacts: 
Last Updated October 25, 2012