The University of Illinois Extension will host the 25th annual Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference. This conference attracts commercial vegetable and fruit growers from farms in Illinois and Wisconsin, selling to small and/or wholesale markets, to provide them with updated production-related information from Extension specialists at University of Illinois. This year, the conference will be delivered virtually in live webinars.
- Feb. 12, noon to 1 p.m., Hard Cider Production — Learn about market potential for the addition of hard cider to your existing farm or orchard operation. The webinar will delve into the styles, production techniques, financial benefits and reasons why hard cider is a growing trend across the nation. Carla Snyder, Penn State Extension, will discuss new world cider makers in New Zealand, traditional artisans in the U.K., and how the growing U.S. market is changing.
- Feb. 18, 1 to 3 p.m., Apple Insect Pests and Control Options — This presentation will cover the major and minor apple insect pest growers are likely to encounter in our region. The control measures discussed will include both conventional insecticide sprays as well as cultural and biological control options. The talk will be broken down into sections with time for questions and discussion throughout.
- Feb. 19, noon to 1 p.m., Pumpkin Varieties — Hear about current research on pumpkin variety performance in Illinois and successful weed management programs for pumpkins.
- Feb. 25, 1 to 3:30 p.m., Cucurbit Insect Pests, Conventional and Cultural Control Techniques — This presentation will cover the major cucurbit insect pests and control options. This will include spray options and a discussion on insect exclusion techniques which may be of interest to conventional and organic growers alike. The talk will be broken down into sections with time for questions and discussion throughout.
- Feb. 26, noon to 1 p.m., High Tunnel Production Updates — Learn about basic high tunnel tomato production practices and observations on different varieties being grown in research trials in southern Illinois.
Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting
The University of Illinois Extension Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting will be held virtually this year, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 9.
Topics will include:
- Beef cattle management.
- Grazing management.
- Soil health.
- Nutrient management.
- Water quality.
Certified crop advisors have been approved to receive continuing education units by attending this meeting.
The meeting is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required by visiting https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=22820. For more information, call the Christian County Extension office at 217-287-7246.
2021 Fruit & Vegetable Virtual Conference
The 2021 Fruit & Vegetable Virtual Conference will be at 8 a.m. Feb. 10. The conference will combine the Southwestern Illinois Tree Fruit School usually held in Mt. Vernon, and the Southern Illinois Small Fruit and Vegetable School in Hardin.
The day will be broken up into three segments: tree fruit, small fruit and vegetable with a time for questions and answers with the speakers at the conclusion of each segment.
- Peach and apple disease update, Mohammad Babadoost.
- Peach and apple insect update, Kacie Athey.
- Pruning blueberries, Pat Byers and Elizabeth Wahle.
- Research Update: Trellising Raspberries, Bronwyn Aly.
- Climate tends, past and present, Trent Ford.
- Cucurbit crop diseases, Mohammad Babadoost.
- Solanceous crop diseases, Mohammad Babadoost.
- Insect control in sweet corn, Kacie Athey.
- Pumpkin variety trial, Nathan Johanning.
- Tomato field production, Katie Bell.
Register for this free program at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=22920.
So You Want to Be a Farmer
Starting a farm is much more than just putting seed to soil or livestock in field, especially in value-added agriculture. A farm is a complex business undertaking that involves managing people, products, and paperwork.
The webinar So You Want to Be a Farmer/Value Added Producer? will be from noon to 1 p.m. Feb 11. This webinar will cover the decision to start a farm, and the tools and structures you’ll likely need to manage a farm like a business.
The webinar is part of the 2021 Small Farm Webinar Series which gives small producers access to practical tools and knowledge to improve their profitability and sustainability by learning about leading practices on emerging topics in production, management, and marketing.
Other webinars in the series, all starting at noon, are:
- Feb. 18: Spring and Summer Bulbs for Cut Flower Production. Presenter: Candice Hart, University of Illinois Extension.
- Feb. 25: Regenerative Grazing - Could It Work on Your Farm? Presenters: Doug Gucker and Katie Bell, University of Illinois Extension.
- March 4: Grower/Business Spotlight: Funks Grove Heritage Fruits & Grains. Presenter: Jeff Hake, Funks Grove Heritage Fruits & Grains.
- March 11: Containerized Production: Options When Quality Native Soil Isn’t An Option. Presenter: Zack Grant, University of Illinois Extension.
- March 18: Food Desert or Food Apartheid? Presenters: Grace Margherio and Joey Fonseca.
- March 25: Too Small for Wholesale Markets? Think Again. Presenters: Kathryn Pereira, University of Illinois Extension, and Marlie Wilson and Dakarai Howard, Chicago Food Action Policy Council.
Past programs are available on YouTube at bit.ly/ILLocalFoodsYouTube.
For more information, contact Zack Grant at email@example.com or 708-679-6889.
Regenerative grazing online series
The Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District, The Land Connection, University of Illinois Extension, and The Pasture Project at the Wallace Center will present Regenerative Grazing: Fundamentals for Farmers, an online series via Zoom. The series will feature Kent Solberg, a livestock and grazing specialist with the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, as well as Illinois graziers Jill Vonder Haar and Jim Isermann.
The series will take place over three sessions:
- Feb. 11, 9 to 10:30 a.m., What is Regenerative Grazing? A discussion of what regenerative grazing is and how it differs from continuous grazing, as well as the multiple benefits that can result from regenerative grazing.
- Feb. 18, 9 to 10:30 a.m., The Nuts and Bolts of Regenerative Grazing on the Farm. Details of regenerative grazing, including paddocks, fencing, water, forage basics, and grazing cover crops.
- Feb. 25, 9 to 10 a.m., Ask Me Anything! This session will allow participants time to ask additional questions and have live discussion with Solberg and the Illinois grazier presenters.
Register at https://thelandconnection.org/event/grazing-series/.
PSEP Test in White County
CARMI, Ill. — Pesticide Safety Education Program testing will be 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 11 at the White County Extension office, 1715 College Ave., Carmi. You may register for testing by calling 618-382-2662 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The only charge for testing is the state license fee. University of Illinois Extension does not charge a fee for testing.
If you need reasonable accommodations to participate in this program, please indicate so when registering.
Registration is important so current group restrictions and social distancing guidelines can be maintained.
Waste to Renewable Energy webinar
Waste to Renewable Energy Everyday Environment Webinar will be at 1p.m. Feb. 11. Anaerobic digestion technology is used as a solution to divert food waste from the landfill. Farmers also utilize the technology to capture methane emissions associated with the management of liquid manures. Join University of Illinois Extension Environmental and Energy Stewardship Educator Ashley Belle to learn how renewable energy is produced from organic waste materials.
This webinar will cover the digestion process, steps for operating optimal digestion systems, and the current status of agricultural anaerobic digesters in the US. Register at go.illinois.edu/WasteToEnergy.
COVID-19 Telehealth Sea Change and New Opportunities
Telehealth is the remote, digital delivery of clinical health care and non-clinical services, such as provider training and continuing medical education. Through virtual visits, patients can gain access to specialists, chronic condition monitoring, and counseling that otherwise might be limited or unavailable. State healthcare policies, funding opportunities, and access to technology and broadband can play limiting roles in residents’ ability to access these services.
Join community leaders and stakeholders as presenters define telehealth, examine its development and the seismic change in healthc are during the pandemic at noon Feb. 12.
Presenters will be Nancy L. Kaszak, director of the Illinois Telehealth Initiative of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois; and Matt Schmit, deputy director for broadband within the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.
The program Value of Telehealth to Rural Economies will be at noon Feb. 17.