June 09, 2017
By Caleb Hicks
Increasing and improving strawberry production was the topic of a meeting in Cullman, June 8. From left are Doug Cox of Grant; Virginia Tech Extension Specialist and strawberry expert Allen Straw; and AFVGA Northern District Director Jimmy Witt of Hayden.
Farmers learned new and innovative methods to help improve and increase strawberry production in Alabama at a meeting in Cullman June 8.
Nearly 50 farmers heard crop-trial updates from leading horticulture experts that included innovative site selection, irrigation, crop protection methods and more.
Among the experts was Auburn University Department of Horticulture Extension Specialist Edgar Vinson who spoke on variety and crop-protection trials.
“Variety selection is a valuable part of production goals,” Vinson said. “There is an increased interest in growing strawberries in Alabama, and we plan to implement more pre- and post-emerging herbicides next year to reduce weeds.”
Attendees also heard from Virginia Tech Extension Specialist Allen Straw, who said it’s vital farmers learn new ways to produce a better crop.
“With most things in agriculture, if you don’t keep up, you’ll fall behind, and it’s hard to catch back up,” Straw said. “We try to give farmers ways to keep their farms economically stable while keeping them up to date on more practical methods.”
Blount County farmer Jimmy Witt said he learns something new from every meeting, adding he agrees farmers should continue to learn new ways to remain financially viable.
“I’ve heard Dr. Straw speak several times now, and continue to learn things to take back to my own farm,” said Witt, who is Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (AFVGA) northern district director. “I’m constantly searching for ways to improve my operation, whether to save me money, make me money or improve my crop. That’s why these meetings are so important.”
AFVGA was among the sponsors for the grower meeting. AFVGA began in 1980 and is a nonprofit organization with members in 51 of Alabama’s 67 counties. Its mission is to promote, advance and protect Alabama fruit and vegetable farmers and their ability to grow, harvest and market their products. Alabama’s fruit & vegetable farming generates an annual economic impact of nearly $109 million and about 1,300 jobs.
AFVGA partnered with the Alabama Farmers Federation in 2016 to increase membership and promote fruit and vegetable production to a wider audience.
To view the meeting in its entirety, go to https://auburn.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=60c986ff-d5f3-42bc-bf23-c964a24b6b02.