Penn State, Cornell partner on vegetable, small-fruit programs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Vegetable and small-fruit growers will have a chance to gain knowledge that can enhance their operations during a series of monthly, Web-based seminars that will kick off Dec. 18.

Presented by the Penn State Extension Vegetable and Small Fruit Program Team in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension, the monthly webinars will be offered from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. 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 timely updates in vegetable and small-fruit production for extension educators, producers and industry representatives in Pennsylvania, New York and surrounding states.

The sessions will feature presentations by faculty members and extension educators in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"Growers are very busy and don't always have time to travel to extension meetings, so we designed these webinars for convenience," said Lee Stivers, horticulture educator with Penn State Extension. "Registration gives you access not only to the live webinar but also 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 current 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.

"For several years now, this webinar series has been successful in providing valuable information to producers," she said. "As many as 95 percent of participants have indicated they learned something they would use in their own operations. With Cornell Cooperative Extension as a partner, we hope to reach an even broader audience this year."

Planned webinar topics and presenters include the following:

-- Dec. 18, Sweet Onions: Cultural Practices and Brand Marketing; Christy Hoepting, extension vegetable specialist, Cornell, and Lee Stivers, horticulture extension educator, Penn State.

-- Jan. 15, Spotted Winged Drosophila and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug; Kathy Demchak, senior extension associate in plant science, and Shelby Fleischer, professor of entomology, Penn State, and Greg Loeb, professor of entomology, Cornell.

-- Feb. 12, Dealing with Late Blight; Meg McGrath, associate professor of plant pathology and plant-microbe biology, Cornell, and Beth Gugino, assistant professor of plant pathology, Penn State.

-- March 19, Conventional and Organic Weed Control in Sweet Corn, Pumpkins and Winter Squash; Robin Bellinder, professor of horticulture, Cornell, and Dwight Lingenfelter, program development specialist in plant science, Penn State.

-- April 2, Fertigation: Scheduling and Water Quality Considerations; Elsa Sánchez, associate professor of horticultural systems management, Penn State, and Steve Reiners, associate professor of horticulture, Cornell.

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 or by phone at 724-627-3745. For more information, contact Stivers by phone at 724-228-6881 or by email.

Related publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension Vegetable, Small Fruit and Mushroom Production website.

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Last Updated December 04, 2013