Virtual Texas Fruit Conference

Beginner, advanced fruit orchard growers welcome to virtual conference, Sept. 21-22

“For those people who have been considering starting an orchard, we are offering an Intro to Fruit Growing Workshop, covering the essential ‘get started’ information in four hours of time,” said Monte Nesbitt, AgriLife Extension horticulture program specialist, Bryan-College Station, and coordinator for the event.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The 2020 Texas Fruit Conference will be held virtually on Sept. 21-22. This annual Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulture event provides information for every level of fruit grower.

Registration is open at the Texas Fruit Virtual Conference website. Day 1 registration is $50, Day 2 registration is $35, and registration for both days is $70. Registration closes on Sept. 19.

“For those people who have been considering starting an orchard, we are offering an Intro to Fruit Growing Workshop, covering the essential ‘get started’ information in four hours of time,” said Monte Nesbitt, AgriLife Extension horticulture program specialist, Bryan-College Station, and coordinator for the event.

“For advanced fruit growers in Texas, we are giving a session called ‘Texas’ Fruit Future,’ which considers the future of some mainstay fruit crops and explores new ones,” Nesbitt said. “We will also be providing a virtual field trip to two Texas-based commercial fruit nurseries, Womack Nursery and Texas Pecan Nursery. And lastly, we are having a live panel discussion to interact with growers of all situations.”

Day 1

Topics will be a crash course in starting a fruit orchard in Texas.

  • Texas Commercial Fruit Production and Marketing Options, Nesbitt.
  • Perennial Orchard Site Selection, Jim Kamas, AgriLife Extension fruit specialist, Fredericksburg.
  • Orchard Irrigation Planning Basics, Larry Stein, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulture specialist, Uvalde.
  • Orchard Site Preparation, Stephen Janak, AgriLife Extension horticulture program specialist, Hallettsville.
  • Spacing & Planting Techniques, Nesbitt.
  • Protected Culture Strategies, Jacy Lewis, AgriLife Extension Viticulture and Fruit Lab program coordinator, Fredericksburg.
  • Establishment—Weed Control, Fertilizer and Irrigation, Stein.
  • Training & Pruning Fruit Trees, Kamas.
  • Food Safety Considerations, Juan Anciso, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension vegetable specialist, Weslaco.
  • Questions and answers.

Day 2, Session 1

Texas Fruit Future will explore new growing practices, new crops and new marketing opportunities.

  • Low Maintenance-High Value Fruit Crops for Texas, Kamas.
  • Sustaining & Expanding Strawberry Production Across Texas, Russ Wallace, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension fruit and vegetable specialist, Lubbock.
  • Golden Kiwifruit Challenges & Opportunities, Tim Hartmann, AgriLife Extension horticulture specialist, Bryan-College Station.
  • Muscadine Grapes, Anybody?, Justin Scheiner, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension viticulture specialist, Bryan-College Station.
  • Texas’ Peach Dreams, Nesbitt.

Session 2

A virtual field trip to fruit nurseries in Texas will help participants gain insight from two of long-term conference sponsors into how fruit trees are commercially propagated in Texas.

Participants will virtually travel to Womack Nursery in De Leon with presenters Lewis and Stein, followed by a viewing of the Texas Pecan Nursery in Chandler with Monte and Carol Nesbitt.

Session 3

Hard Questions, Good Answers will be a live panel discussion with AgriLife Extension’s fruit team. Opportunities for participants to present questions and get expert opinions from Nesbitt, Kamas, Stein, Scheiner, Hartmann, Lewis and Janak.

–Laura Muntean
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

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