Other afternoon sessions will include a presentation by Clemson University Fruit and Vegetable Specialist Gilbert Miller. He is an expert on various methods of irrigation for watermelon and other fruit crops and has worked extensively with growers in South Carolina to develop high tech and highly efficient systems for irrigating fruit and vegetable crops.

Soil fumigation and some innovative methods for capitalizing on fruit and vegetable crops after they are harvested will highlight two other afternoon sessions.

One presentation in particular will be of interest to all growers in attendance, and that is a session of planning for your financial future without giving away the farm, presented by Victor Ngai, a lawyer and financial planner with the Guardian Life Insurance Company.

Mark Abney, who worked in the sweet potato industry for a number of years prior to joining North Carolina State University as a vegetable entomologist, will lead a session on sweet potato production basics to kick off the Wednesday morning program.

He also will give a presentation on sweet potato insect management and provide a research update on vegetable insect management.

The sweet potato session also will include presentations on varieties, herbicides and herbicide/crop interactions, which will be presented by Katie Jennings, Steven Meyers, Lauren Coleman and David Monks, from North Carolina State University.

Gary Bullen, an ag economist at North Carolina State University will close the session with a presentation on sweet potato production budgets.

A sweet corn session will run concurrently in the morning session. It will include presentations on improving quality and profit of sweet corn production in the Southeast, variety trial results, insect management and the use of Bt technology.

Dick Tunnell, owner and operator of Tunnell Farms, will close the session with a grower’s perspective on new technology and profitability in vegetable production.

One of the highlights of the annual meeting is an industry-wide update on ‘hot topics’. This year hot topics include: Growing hops in the Carolinas, growing broccoli in the Southeast, the impact of viruses on fresh produce, and a presentation on risk management for vegetable growers.

Registration for the 2012 Expo can be done online or by contacting the North Carolina Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association or the South Carolina Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

rroberson@farmpress.com