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Monday, November 2, 2009

NC Strawberry Expo: 6 Days and Counting!

The NC Strawberry Expo is just 1 week away! I have several sessions at the Expo. Sunday, I will be participating in Barclay Poling's "Months of Money" workshop. We'll be breaking down the choices that strawberry farmers make each month of the year and how these choices add up to make or cost growers money. Sunday afternoon, we will visit John Vollmer's strawberry farm where I'll discuss work on organic mite management (both miticides and biological control) we conducted with John last spring. John is a fantastic cooperator and a wealth of information. This tour will include discussions of the entire process of organic strawberry growing, which has its own unique challenges.

On Monday afternoon, I will spend an hour discussing insect management in strawberries. This session, called "When NOT to spray", will focus on the use of sampling and thresholds in strawberries as well as address insects that growers are concerned about but do not typically injure NC strawberries (Lygus bugs are a prime example). Because the decision NOT to treat is usually much more fraught than the decision to spray, I will try to give growers tools to let them sleep better at night after not firing up the tractor. Look for an Expo wrap up early next week.

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