Fruit and Vegetable Meeting Agendas for Ag Week

Agendas are set for the four Ag Week sessions organized by the Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware and Delaware Cooperative Extension. Talk titles and times are included in the information below. Information on continuing education credits will be available sometime in December. In addition to our local experts, we will have several invited speakers from outside of Delaware. Read a little bit about them at the end of this announcement.

Fruit Session | Delaware Building
Monday, January 8, 2024, 1:00-3:20 p.m.
Moderator: Drew Harris, Kent Co. Ag Agent

1:00-1:30 p.m.
Key Insect Pests to Monitor in Fruit         
Dr. David Owens, Extension Entomologist, University of Delaware

1:30-2:00 p.m.
Anthracnose in Strawberries         
Dr. Mengjun Hu, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland

2:00-2:30 p.m.
Indoor Strawberry Production in a Retrofitted Poultry House   
Dr. Gordon Johnson, retired Extension Fruit & Vegetable Specialist, University of Delaware and Bill Owens, Owens Premium Produce

2:30-2:50 p.m.
Identification and Management of Two Recently Identified Strawberry Pathogens: Neopestalotiopsis and Phytopythium    
Jill Pollok, Plant Diagnostician, University of Delaware

2:50-3:20 p.m.
First Impressions from the Carvel Fruit Demo Plot with a Focus on Bramble Varieties
Dr. Emmalea Ernest, Extension Fruit & Vegetable Specialist, University of Delaware

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General Vegetable Session | Exhibit Hall
Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 9:00-11:30 a.m.
Moderator: Drew Harris, Kent Co. Ag Agent

9:00-9:05 a.m.
Welcome
Shane Marvel, FVGAD President

9:05-9:20 a.m.
Update on Produce Food Safety Regulations
Justin Grimminger, Delaware Department of Agriculture

9:20-9:50 a.m.
Update on Produce Food Safety Research and Outbreaks
Kyle McCaughan, Graduate Student, University of Delaware

9:50-10:05 a.m.
NRCS Farm Bill Funding Opportunities
TBA

10:05-10:50 a.m.      
Maintaining and Building Soil Organic Matter

Dr. Sjoerd Duiker, Professor of Soil Management & Applied Soil Physics, Penn State

10:50-11:30 a.m.
Willing to Change: Farming in South Texas
Kent Schwartz

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Fresh Market Vegetable Session | Exhibit Hall
Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Moderator: Nick Adams, New Castle Co. Ag Agent

1:00-1:30 p.m.
What Happened to the Insect Pests in 2023?      
Dr. David Owens, Extension Entomologist, University of Delaware

1:30-1:50 p.m.
Marketing Expense Calculator
Nate Bruce, Farm Business Management Specialist, University of Delaware

1:50-2:20 p.m.
Managing Bacterial Disease in Vegetables
Dr. Alyssa Koehler, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, University of Delaware

2:20-2:30 p.m.
Presentation of FVGAD Farm Family Award        

2:30-3:00 p.m.
Update on Weed Science Research and a Refresher on Reading Labels
Dr. Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Science Specialist, University of Delaware

3:00-3:30 p.m.
Dealing with High Salts in High Tunnels
Dr. Elsa Sanchez, Professor of Horticultural Systems Management, Penn State

3:30-4:00 p.m.
Heat Stress Management in Lettuce and Bell Peppers; Variety Trial for Snow and Snap Peas; Specialty Pumpkins that are Edible and Ornamental
Dr. Emmalea Ernest, Extension Fruit & Vegetable Specialist, University of Delaware

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Processing Vegetable Session | Exhibit Hall
Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 9:00-11:30 a.m.
Moderator: Drew Harris, Kent Co. Ag Agent

9:00-9:05 a.m.
Welcome
Shane Marvel, President FVGAD

9:05-9:35 a.m.
Pythium Management to Maintain Stands and Vigor in Sweet Corn and Snap Beans
Dr. Alyssa Koehler, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, University of Delaware

9:35-10:05 a.m.
Seedcorn Maggot and Corn Earworm Updates and Outlooks      
Dr. David Owens, Extension Entomologist, University of Delaware

10:05-10:20 a.m.
Presentation of the FVGAD Career Distinguished Service Award

10:20-11:00 a.m.
No-Till Sweet Corn   
Dr. Elizabeth Maynard, Clinical Engagement Professor of Horticulture, Purdue University

11:00-11:30 a.m.
Snap Bean Variety Trials, Lima Bean Breeding and Research Updates       
Dr. Emmalea Ernest, Extension Fruit & Vegetable Specialist, University of Delaware

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2024 Invited Speakers

Dr. Mengjun Hu is a plant pathologist at University of Maryland with statewide Extension responsibility to address disease management concerns in commercial wine grape and small fruit production. His research has been primarily focused on fungicide resistance and epidemiology, with emphasis on Botrytis spp., Colletotrichum spp. and other common fungal pathogens associated with fruit rots.

Dr. Sjoerd Duiker is a soil scientist at Penn State University. His research focus is on the effects of soil management practices on soil physical properties and processes. He uses a systems approach to study the effect of no-tillage and tillage on soil physical properties, how soil compaction affects soil and crops, what effect crop rotation plays in maintaining soil quality, and the benefits and challenges of cover crops.

Mr. Kent Schwartz and his family in south Texas and have produced many different crops over the years. Kent spoke at our FVGAD meeting in 2011 and is returning to share with us about how his farming operation has changed over the past several year.

Dr. Elsa Sanchez is Professor of Horticultural Systems Management at Penn State University. Her research focuses on cultivar evaluation, nutrient management with organic nutrient sources, cultural pest management strategies, reduced tillage, and hydroponics systems management. She conducts trials in field, high tunnel and greenhouse production systems and works with both organic and conventional production systems.

Dr. Liz Maynard is the Clinical Engagement Professor of Horticulture at Purdue University. Her work includes vegetable variety trials and systems focused research on vegetable production, including nutrient management, no-till vegetable production, high tunnel production and crop scheduling.

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