More than 20,000 acres of potatoes are grown in around Hastings, Fla., in the northeastern part of the state. That figure represents more than 60 percent of the state’s potato crop acreage, which boasts an annual production value of $180 million.
It’s only appropriate the so-called potato capital of Florida serves as Ground Zero not only for acres grown, but also relevant research. To showcase and discuss the latest developments in production and crop protection, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Hastings Agricultural Extension Center will host its annual Potato Field Day at its Cowpen Branch research and demonstration farm on April 27.
Growers, industry representatives, and anyone interested in potato production are welcome to attend this free event. Topics to be covered include specialty potatoes, fertigation, alternatives to fumigation for nematode management, disease management, weed control and more.
As a supplement to the educational program, participants will tour the research farm, stopping at plots where UF/IFAS specialists and extension agents will deliver presentations on current research findings.
Following is the official agenda for the event:
3 p.m. Welcome and Introductions: Gary K. England, director, UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center
3:15-4:50 p.m. Field Tours:
Potato Nutrition Update
How to set up a fertigation system for potato production: Xiangju Fu, UF/IFAS
Phosphorus trial update for potato production: Dario Racano, UF/IFAS
Weed management update: Peter Dittmar, UF/IFAS
Cover crop weed management
Vine management for skin set
Alternative fumigants: Joe Noling, UF/IFAS
Nematode management in potato: Don Dickson, UF/IFAS
Potato disease management update: Nick Dufault, UF/IFAS
Late blight model
Industry fungicide evaluation
USDA specialty potato plots: Lincoln Zotarelli and Christian Christiensen, UF/IFAS
5 p.m. Educational program
Sweet potato research update: Bonnie C. Wells, UF/IFAS
Why can fertigation significantly increase potato yield?: David Liu, UF/IFAS
Determining water table level for irrigating TCAA soils: Lincoln Zotarelli and Andre Biscaia, UF/IFAS
Adjusting seed piece spacing for chipping: Lincoln Zotarelli
5:30 p.m. Dinner sponsored by Ameris Bank
For more information about this event and to RSVP, click here or call (904) 209-0430.
Source: Growing Produce