Friday, August 10, 2012

13th Central Missouri Vegetable & Greenhouse Tour

Wednesday  August 29th, 2012  Rain (?) or Shine

Come join us!
Meet at the Central Missouri Produce Auction to visit 4 nearby growers of quality fresh produce. This event is free.  The theme this year is ‘responding to the drought’, and will feature irrigation and greenhouse shading options.

Special offerings this year!*
We’ll have a 50 passenger bus to do the route. We’re calling it ‘The MVGA Irrigation Express’ **
Free lunch! Must confirm your attendance by Aug. 24th.***

Schedule: (you are welcome to arrive up until noon)
10:00 am - Gather & visit ‘on your own’ the auction
11 until 11:45 - Grab your lunch
11:45 to Noon - A few words from your sponsors and tour organization directions & comments
Noon to 12:30 - Dave Trinklein (MU State Floriculture Specialist) Shading options for greenhouses and high tunnels; why it is important for summer tomato growth and fruit quality
12:30 - Load bus
12:45 - Leave to first farm*
* Tour will conclude about 4:00 (about one hour per farm). See details below.

Some features this year include:
Mark Troup with Missouri Department of Ag will be on hand to talk about grading of fresh produce. Mark has years of inspecting experience and has recently been trained for GAP certification inspections.
- Lincoln University’s vegetable research program.
Tomato disease discussion including special guest Bob Pierce with MU’s nematode lab.

Central Missouri Produce Auction (located on Highway E, 12 miles south of US 50 or 10 miles north of Versailles)
37808 Highway E Fortuna MO 65034
Auction Facility - 660-337-6227 (Auction days only)

Stop 1 (but we stay on the bus)
Mark Zimmerman.
Mark grows a variety of field vegetables, greenhouse tomatoes and ornamentals. But today Mark will describe the well he put in a few years ago and how and where he has installed underground piping.

Stop 2
Anna Mary and Lamar Reiff
Blackberries are the focus here. Anna Mary grew wonderful quality blackberries right through the heat and drought. Hear how irrigation was critical to the fruit quality, even keeping white drupes from being a problem.  

In route discussion
Hear from Norman Kilmer of Morgan County Seeds about some of the irrigation equipment supply shortages that occurred in the spring/early summer. What’s on the horizon for 2013?

Stop 3
Philip Shirk
Philip is one of the few growers in this area using overhead (sprinkler) irrigation. He uses it for the sweet corn. Yes it is one of the few vegetable where we say there are real advantages to using it, but there are some negatives to. Come learn from this grower on his experiences with overhead irrigation and sweet corn. Philip also grows a wide variety or ornamentals and vegetables. In the fall he grows many mums.

Stop 4
Elmer and Samuel Leid
The Leid’s have been regular tour features over the years as innovators, But this year, it’s because their pond ran dry. This has happened very little over the many years they have grown vegetables in that field and irrigated from the pond. Elmer can describe how past years stacked up and how they responded to this year’s problem. The Leid’s grow a wide variety of field vegetables, as well as greenhouse and high tunnel tomatoes.

Sponsored by:
Morgan County Extension Center
Missouri Department of Ag
Central Missouri Produce Auction
Morgan County Seeds
University of Missouri Extension (MU Extension)
* (thanks to) Missouri Vegetable Growers Association
** This should reduce the time needed to be spent at each farm, as a we’ll have some discussion about the upcoming stop in route, on the bus. First come first serve on getting a seat! After 50 you’ll have to tag along behind.
*** Just call (573-634- 2824 Cole County Extension Center) or e-mail ( with your name and the number attending.  Lunch is roast beef, mashed potato, gravy, homemade bread, green beans, and soda or water.

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