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Alaska Produce Growers Conference scheduled in Palmer

Fairbanks, Alaska - Alaska farmers will gather in Palmer Feb. 16-17 to learn about the latest agricultural research and recommendations during the Alaska Produce Growers Conference.

Conference organizer Stephen Brown, a Palmer agriculture and horticulture agent for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, said the annual event is geared to potato, vegetable and fruit growers. Speakers will include experts from the university and state and federal farm agencies.

Speakers on Feb. 16 will highlight topics of interest to potato farmers, including research updates, fertilizers, precision soil nutrient modeling and pest management. Potato farmers also will talk about precision agriculture in the Matanuska Valley and farming in Bethel.

The conference will focus on vegetable and fruit topics the following day. Special guest speakers Jeff Conn and Steven Seefeldt, research agronomists from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, will talk about weed seeds in soil and the fate of herbicides in soil. Amy Pettit, a development specialist with the Division of Agriculture, also will offer a three-hour workshop on agricultural grant writing. Brown said Pettit will teach farmers how to pursue agricultural grants available through the state.

While most of Alaska's farming happens in the Tanana Valley and Matanuska Valley, Brown said participants are coming from across the state, including Bethel, Barrow and Dillingham.

The Palmer Community Center at 610 S. Valley Way will host the conference. A schedule and registration form may be downloaded from a link at www.uaf.edu/ces. Registration is requested by Feb. 11. For more information, contact Extension's Mat-Su/Copper River District Office at 907-745-3360.

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