The conference consists of concurrent sessions, along with an extensive trade show held throughout the two-day Expo.

Topics include alternatives to methyl bromide in the tomato session, demand and trends in sweet potatoes; holiday strawberry sales and the health benefits of small fruits.

Experts will also cover such topics as good agricultural practices and food safety; steps to success in direct marketing; what prospective growers need to know about greenhouse vegetables; the new national organic certification program; no-till pickling cucumber production; inline fumigation of melons and watermelons; year-round marketing opportunities in salad crops; specialty beans; pest management in crucifers; water and nutrient management in pumpkins and squash; and marketing niche and other specialty crops.

In addition to a full slate of concurrent sessions, four commodity associations will hold meetings at the Expo. The North Carolina Horticultural Council, the North Carolina Vegetable Growers Association, the North Carolina Strawberry Growers Association and the North Carolina Pickle Producers will be meeting during the two-day Expo.

The Expo is sponsored by the North Carolina Vegetable Growers Association in cooperation with Clemson University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, North Carolina Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Division of Energy, North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.

For more information, contact Bonnie Holloman or Cathy Price at 919-334-0099 or e-mail at bhollom@bellsouth.net.