Informative classes and demonstrations designed to bring the most up-to-date and relevant information to the fruit and vegetable industry will be offered at this year’s conference.

“We are so excited about this year's outstanding program,” says Beth Bland Oleson, education program coordinator. “We have assembled the best speakers from across the country to provide growers with the knowledge they need to stay up-to-date and competitive in today’s market. This is truly an event not to be missed.”

The conference features educational sessions for specific commodities on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Commodities include peach, vegetable, Vidalia onion, watermelon, muscadine, pecan, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, olive and strawberry. Educational sessions for organic production, food safety and roadside market will be held as well.

Thursday sessions include the Business Operations Track, Grow Your Business through Google. Designed to help producers across all commodity lines, this informative session provides will cover online marketing practices.

 Covering a wide variety of topics, some of Friday’s sessions include:

• Weather Effects on Timing of Peach Bloom;

• Buffer Zone Calculations and their Impact on Vegetable Production;

• Systems for Organic Production on Fifty Acres;

• Natural Pest & Disease Control Options for Blackberries;

• Foliar Sulfur Applications for Pecans

• FDA Regulatory Update;

• Farm to School in Georgia and South Carolina;

Saturday’s educational sessions promise to be interesting as well. A sample of topics include:

• Peach Tree Fertigation;

• Intercropping Cotton and Melons – Field Perspective;

• Onion Flavor Research;

• Fruit Characteristics for Storage of Muscadines;

• Global GAP Audit Overview;

• Water Quality and Safety Risk for "U Pick" Strawberry Operations;

Continuing education credits for pesticide application license are available for a number of the sessions on all three days.

Early bird registration is now open until Dec. 16, 2011. The best value for the conference is a four-day pass for $135.

For those only able to attend a one day of educational conferences, a one-day pass is also available for $45.

Registration and additional information is available at www.seregionalconference.com.

For more information on hotels, education sessions or to register for the 2012 SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference go to http://www.seregionalconference.com or call (706) 845-8200.

phollis@farmpress.com