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Greg Busacker grows five varieties of blueberries at his farm in Hartsburg, Mo. He and his wife, Carol, will be participating in the 2011 Missouri Blueberry School in Springfield.
Credit: Jessica Salmond, MU Cooperative Media Group
Published: Monday, Sept. 12, 2011
Patrick L. Byers, 417-881-8909
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Blueberries can be a challenging crop to produce, but they are in high demand in many markets, providing huge potential for Missouri farmers.
The Missouri Blueberry School, Oct. 7-8 in Springfield, offers educational sessions and farm tours for both new and experienced commercial blueberry producers as well as home blueberry growers who want to learn more, said Patrick Byers, University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist in Greene County.
“The Missouri Blueberry School offers a unique opportunity to focus on all aspects of successful blueberry production and to hear the latest from local as well as nationally known blueberry specialists,” Byers said.
The Blueberry School, presented by MU Extension’s Missouri Beginning Farmers Program, will feature a day of educational sessions on the Missouri State University campus. Attendees may also choose to spend the following day touring two area blueberry farms.
Session topics will include cultivar selection, planting establishment, irrigation systems, fertility management and the economics of blueberry production. Missouri blueberry growers will share their experiences and answer questions in a panel discussion.
In the evening there will be a reception, roundtable discussions and a meeting of the Missouri Blueberry Council.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, a morning tour of Sunshine Valley Farm near Springfield will feature a demonstration of blueberry irrigation design. The afternoon trip to Persimmon Hill Farm in Lampe, Mo., about 25 miles west of Branson, will include a discussion of blueberry disease issues.
Registration for the educational sessions is $50 per person ($35 for each addition person from the same family or farm) and includes lunch, refreshments, educational materials and an evening reception. Each family or farm also will receive a copy of the Highbush Blueberry Production Guide.
Registration for the Oct. 8 farm tours is $50 per person, including lunch, refreshments and educational resources.
Speakers at the Missouri Blueberry School will include Ed Browning and Patrick Byers of MU Extension; MSU researchers Ben Fuqua and Martin Kaps; Bernadine Strik, horticulture professor at Oregon State University; and David Bryla, research horticulturist for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.
For a downloadable brochure and registration form, go to http://beginningfarmers.missouri.edu/workshops.aspx.
For more information, contact Lorri Winters at 417-881-8909 or WintersL@missouri.edu.
The Missouri Blueberry School is sponsored in part by a grant from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
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