UACES Facebook June 12 Blackberry Field Day: More than just fruit

June 12 Blackberry Field Day: More than just fruit

Fast Facts:

  • June 12 field day has multi-disciplinary approach
  • Fruit cultivation, marketing share agenda
  • Registration is $20, deadline to register is June 10
  • For info, contact Katie Hanshaw, 479-754-2406.

(380 words)

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. - There’s more at stake than fruit at the June 12 Blackberry Field Day.

It’s an intensive, 360-degree look at the best ways to manage growth, insects, diseases and the marketing of a crop that helps put food on the table for farmers.

The field day is being held at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Fruit Research Station in Clarksville.

“We understand that whether you’re growing fruit, row crops or raising cattle, it’s a three-dimensional job that requires three-dimensional problem solving,” said John Clark, Division of Agriculture professor and internationally known fruit breeder. “Our job as scientists and educators is to be sure we’re helping our growers solve those issues.”

The field day, organized by Elena Garcia, extension horticulturist, begins with registration at 2 p.m. and includes presentations with faculty from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. On the agenda:

  • Insect management - Spotted wing drosophila update with Donn Johnson, professor and entomologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
  • Using clean plants - Viruses in blackberries with Ioannis Tzanetakis, associate professor-plant pathologist
  • Marketing - With Beverly Dunaway, extension program associate with the Southern Risk Management Education Center
  • Cultivars - With John Clark, professor - horticulture and fruit breeder.

Also on the agenda is a presentation on trellis growing systems.

The University of Arkansas Blackberry Breeding Program, among the world’s largest efforts on this native crop, is an example of the division’s work on behalf of growers. Clark will be showing off new cultivars such as Osage, Natchez, Ouachita, Prime-Ark® Freedom and potential offerings now under development.

“Blackberries are a great crop in Arkansas for local markets, pick-your-own and shipping,” Clark said. “The best use of the varieties by growers and consumers will be discussed at the workshop.”

At the business end is Dunaway, who will be highlighting the MarketMaker as a powerful tool for any individual or entity who is a participant in the local food industry.

“We will be demonstrating the growing need and usefulness of MarketMaker as the local food trend continues to expand,” she said.

There is a $20 registration fee that includes supper and educational materials. Deadline to register is June 10. For information, contact Katie Hanshaw, 479-754-2406.

For more information about fruit production contact your county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

By Mary Hightower
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126
mhightower@uaex.edu

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