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Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference

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Dig deep to the roots at this year's Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference

University of Illinois Extension is excited to present the 27th Annual Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference at NIU-Rockford in Rockford. This conference addresses common issues facing fruit and vegetable growers, with the hopes of providing the most up-to-date information to ensure a successful growing season and business.

Emily Lavely, a fruit educator with Michigan State University, will be the keynote speaker, presenting "Exploring the World of Roots in Perennial Production Systems." Roots are a critical part of crop production, but they often go unnoticed belowground. For perennial crops, fine roots are primarily responsible for water and nutrient update. They are an active part of the plant, similar to leaves, and they respond readily to the orchard environment as well as soil microbes. This presentation will discuss what we know about root growth and how we can support root health in perennial production systems.

Following her keynote, Dr. Lavely will provide a fruit breakout session: Pruning to Match Your System: Considerations for Rootstock and Tree Vigor.

Additional topics for the breakouts will include high tunnel vegetable research, day-neutral strawberries, and mechanical weed management. Mohammad Babadoost and Kacie Athey will provide their yearly grower and research updates for the fruit-vegetable tracks. For our breakouts, we will be joined by Zack Grant, local foods and small farms educator for Cook County, and Sam Oschwald-Tilton, vegetable educator for UW-Madison.

The registration fee is $35 per person and $25 for additional employees of the same farm. This fee includes one general education session, your choice of three breakout sessions and boxed lunch from Mary's Market.

*Due to our catering deadline, we are unable to provide a lunch for anyone who registers after noon Friday, February 3. There are multiple food options available within a few miles of the conference center.

If you will need an accommodation in order to participate, please email the contact person for the event. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.