US (AR): Fruits, vegetables, high tunnels, ornamentals the highlights of Horticulture Field Day

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The latest research on growing fruits, vegetable and ornamental will be featured at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Horticulture Field Day on June 27.

The half-day event will be held 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Division’s Southwest Research and Extension Center, 362 Highway 174 North in Hope. Experts from the division’s Cooperative Extension Service will provide research results and demonstrations throughout the day.

“I am really excited by all the young faculty who are doing work at the Southwest Research and Extension Center,” said Daniel Rivera, center director. “This is a great opportunity for folks to come see the important research conducted here as well as see some of the newer additions.”

The new feature this year is the All-American Selection Garden, where attendees can learn about ornamentals.

Those interested in attending can register here. The cost is $25 per person and includes breakfast and lunch.

Extension specialists conduct research at the Southwest Research and Extension Center on a variety of fruit and vegetable crops, including tomatoes, cabbage, cantaloupe, squash, pumpkins and blackberries. The center is part of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the Division of Agriculture.

“The goal of our research is to better understand how to avoid injury from several key pests of these crops, including spotted wing drosophila, tomato fruit worm, cucumber beetles and multiple mite species,” said Aaron Cato, extension horticulture integrated pest management specialist for the division. “We are trialing both organic and conventional pest management tactics, including cultural controls such as trellising, high tunnel usage, and cover crops, as well as several types of insecticides. We will also demonstrate how to identify herbicide injury in common vegetable crops.”

“Our research aims to support commercial producers in Arkansas, but any person hoping to successfully grow fruits or vegetables in Arkansas can glean valuable tactics from information shared at the field day,” Cato said.

In addition to research findings, extension family and consumer sciences agents will provide tips, nutritious information and recipe demonstrations with featured fruits and vegetables.

2024 Horticulture Field Day Schedule

  • 8-9 a.m. — Registration and introductions; biscuits and preserves
    Ouachita District Family and Consumer Sciences agents

Outdoor program — Horticulture Research Area

  • 9-10 a.m. — Vegetables and Blackberries: Production and Pest Management Trials
    Aaron Cato, horticulture specialist – integrated pest management
    Ryan Keiffer, program associate, horticulture integrated pest management
  • 10-10:30 a.m. — High Tunnels: Research and General Production Management
    Aaron Cato, horticulture specialist integrated pest management
    Taunya Ernst, high tunnel instructor and urban agriculture educator
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. — Vegetable Washing
    Amanda Perez, associate professor and food systems and food safety specialist
  • 11:30 a.m. – Noon — Ornamentals
    Anthony Bowden, ornamentals specialist

Indoor program — Auditorium

  • 9 a.m. —Tips, Nutritional Information and Recipe Demonstrations
    Ouachita District Family and Consumer Sciences agents
  • 12-1 p.m. — Lunch


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