"High Tunnels: Beyond the Basics" will be the main theme offered at the 2015 Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association's annual conference this week in Ankeny. The half-day program, set for Jan. 29 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., will be led by Iowa State University Extension horticulture specialists Ajay Nair, Diana Cochran, Patrick O'Malley and Joe Hannan.
The workshop will focus on tools and equipment that measure the environment for making smarter, more informed decisions when managing summertime plant stress. Participants will have the opportunity to showcase the tools and equipment they find most important for the successful operation of their high tunnels.
"The conference provides an opportunity to share up-to-date research with fruit and vegetable growers across the state," said Joe Hannan, Extension program specialist. "This session is especially beneficial to participants as they will hear new research and have an opportunity to share ideas about their high tunnel operations."
Featured speaker Ajay Nair will discuss new research on how colored plastics affect plant growth and development in high tunnels and how growers can use colored plastics to their best advantage. In addition, Diana Cochran, Extension fruit specialist, will discuss the potential for growing peaches and cherries under high tunnels in Iowa.
Pre-registration is required, conference is open to non-members
The session has been developed for growers who already have a high tunnel and will include small group work, large group discussion and lecture. As in previous years, pre-registration is required to attend. Participants can register online at ifvga.eventbrite.com or access a registration form at www.ifvga.org/. Space in the course is limited and registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.
The Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association conference will be held Jan. 29-30 at the FFA Enrichment Center on the Des Moines Area Community College campus, 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny. The two-day conference includes a variety of speakers and informative sessions for fruit and vegetable growers from production through marketing. A trade show will include more than 30 exhibitors with their latest seeds, supplies, equipment and products.
Conference details and registration information can be found at the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable website. Registration for the conference is $75 a day through Jan. 22. After Jan. 22, conference fees increase to $90 a day. The conference and workshops are open to non-members. For more information about the high tunnels tract, contact Joe Hannan at [email protected] or 515-993-4281.