OFVC 2009 – The information you need to stay competitive
January 29, 2009 By Donna Speranzini OMAFRA Nutrient Management Program Lead Horticulture
January 29, 2009, Vineland, Ont. – This year’s Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention, scheduled for February 18 and 19, 2009, has more to offer producers than ever before.
OMAFRA’s Agriculture Development Branch staff has used all of their connections and resources to deliver and bring leading edge information and production technology to Ontario growers. Topics covered address both the challenges of today as well as the potential for tomorrow.
This year, we are pleased to invite all participants to our first-ever feature speaker presentation “Not Your Dads Farm – Current Trends of Farm Use of the Internet,” presented by best-selling author and Internet marketing specialist, Susan Sweeney. This one-hour dynamic, entertaining and informative presentation is for all farm professionals who want to see how your farm measures up, learn what technologies might be appropriate for your farm, and learn what you have to look forward to in the future.
Commodity production sessions for this year include: grapes, tender fruit, berries, apples, winery and vegetables. Some highlights of these sessions include:
- Dr. Thorup-Kristensen, from Denmark, to talk about saving fertilizer nitrogen by planning rotations based on vegetable root growth in both conventional and organic systems
- How production methods can improve berry flavour
- Optimizing nitrogen use in grapes and tender fruit
- New developments in mechanical thinning for tender fruit
- Strategies for storing HoneyCrisp
- New tools for vegetable IPM
- Australian grape production for quality and soil health
Complimenting these production topics are several sessions dealing with new management opportunities and challenges. These sessions include organic production, energy, managing the weather, labour and human resources, great ideas and China. In these session you can find out about:
- Import, export and consumption trends for fruit and vegetables in China
- Successful organic marketing co-op’s
- Developing successful piece rate pay programs
- Building weather resiliency into your crop production system
- Tax benefits for green energy projects
For those looking for more detailed hands-on information, we have four new workshops and three demonstrations all designed to be interactive and practical.
Workshop 1 – Traceability – Finding the Needle in the Haystack. The audience will gain insight into how traceability applies to their industry sector and will be led through a self assessment that will allow each participant to evaluate their individual operations to determine if implementing a traceability system is right for their business.
Workshop 2 – More than Kicking the Dirt. In this workshop, you will dig deeper to demystify soil reports. You will learn why soil testing can benefit all farming operations and how to use a soil report to make good crops even better.
Workshop 3 – The Farm Formula for On-line Success. This session is for the farms that are relatively new to doing business online – you either are thinking about having a web site or know that you could be doing so much more with the one you have.
Workshop 4 – Past, Present and Future Trends of Farm On-line Marketing. In this session participants will be provided with step-by-step information on how to get to the top of the Search Engines. Also discussed in plain English, will be the latest technologies to hit the web, which are important to your farm business and why – blogs, podcasting, social media, social marketing, mobile marketing, consumer generated media, social bookmarking and RSS are just a few of the latest trends that will be discussed.
Demonstration 1 – Natural Enemies on the Farm – Attract them, keep them. Meet Anna Fiedler, Michigan State University, and help build a community of native plant species that will help attract and keep beneficial insects going strong through the growing season.
Demonstration 2 – On-Farm Food Safety – Getting bad-bugs out of post-harvest water. For this demonstration, UV and ozone equipment, chlorine dioxide, peroxyacetic acid, hydrogen peroxide and the commonly used sanitizers sodium chloride and calcium chloride, will be on display so you can see first hand how each system works.
Demonstration 3 – Cover Crop Choices at Your Fingertips! Find out what seeding rates and varieties have been working for other growers in Ontario or look at what the experience has been in other areas. Join Dean Baas of Michigan State University as he walks us through this new tool. Don’t miss the opportunity to add your cover crop experience to this new knowledge bank!
The convention also offers first class programs delivered by Farmers’ Markets Ontario and the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association. All of this plus the largest fruit and vegetable trade show in Canada, an all Ontario produce lunch and the ever popular Fine Food and Wine evening event makes this years convention something you don’t want to miss.
The 2009 Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention takes place at Brock University on February 18 and 19, 2009. Look for registration forms in Fruit and Vegetable Magazine, at local OMAFRA Resource Centres, or online at www.ofvc.ca.
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