Tomato Conference Offered

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cape Girardeau County Extension Center will host a Missouri Tomato Conference featuring special guest speakers and southeast Missouri commercial growers. This two-day conference is for those who grow commercially, selling direct to retail or at a farmers market or for those who are serious hobbyists and want to learn more about this highly sought after vegetable.

The Webb City Farmers Market, in conjunction with the University of Missouri Extension and Lincoln University Co-operative Extension, are sponsoring the event on Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29. The conference will take place at the Cape Girardeau County Extension Center located at 684 Jackson Trail in Jackson, MO.

Thursday will feature the topics: Managing Tomatoes under Plasticulture, Top three tomato diseases and management, White flies and other troublesome insects, Herbicides and specialty crops and What a Grower Can Do to Optimize the Shelf Life of their Tomatoes. There will be two concurrent sessions in the afternoon. Field tomatoes will focus on irrigation management and the use of caterpillar tunnels while Greenhouse and High Tunnel tomatoes will focus on Humidity control and issues with heaters. Each will contain a local farmer perspective as part of the discussion.

Friday events will consist of farm tours and on-site education at two area farms from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The following speakers will be featured during the workshop: Dr. Rick Snyder, extension/research professor at the Central Mississippi Research and Experiment Station in Crystal Springs, Mississippi; Dr. Joe Kemble, extension vegetable specialist and professor at Auburn University, Alabama; David Middleton, Farm Outreach Worker with Lincoln University Cooperative Extension in Lawrence and Greene Counties; Shon Bishop, small farm specialist for the Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program with extensive experience in high tunnel installation.

Guest growers include Rick Bollinger of Luckey Pickins Farm and Rennie Phillips of Sandhill’s Farms. Also on hand will be University of Missouri horticulture specialists Donna Aufdenberg, Robert Balek, Patrick Byers, and Sarah Denkler.

For information or to register contact the Cape Girardeau County Extension Center at 573-243-3581. Complete conference information and registration form are available at The Missouri Tomato Conference is underwritten by the Webb City Farms Market and a MO StrikeForce grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.