Southwest Ohio to host specialty crops conference

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CINCINNATI — A conference for fruit and vegetable growers is set for Feb. 7 at the Oasis Conference Center, 902 Loveland-Miamiville Road in Loveland.

The Southwestern Ohio Specialty Crop Conference is sponsored by OSU Extension and covers a wide range of grower concerns.

Ohio ranks in the top 10 nationally in production of tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, bell peppers, sweet corn, squash and strawberries, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and also has significant production of apples, grapes, cabbage and peaches.

Many other specialty crops, from berries to pawpaws, are also grown in the Buckeye state. The conference, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers five concurrent sessions in fruit production, vegetable production, specialty cropping systems, pesticide safety and farm management, and marketing and food safety.

Pesticide credits

In addition, some sessions offer private pesticide applicator credits in three categories: Core, 3 (Fruits and Vegetables) and 5 (Greenhouse).

Applicators should bring their license to the conference so OSU Extension personnel can check their recertification status and determine how much training they need to become recertified.

Sessions include growing fruit in containers, pumpkin pest management, aquaponics, strawberry production and extending the marketing season, and tomato and pepper trial results.

Preregistration is required by Feb. 3 and is available online at regonline.com/swspecialtycropconf. The $50 fee includes a continental breakfast, buffet lunch and a USB memory stick containing handouts. For more information, visit go.osu.edu/swohfvsc, or call 513-695-1311.

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