By Ashley Robinson
Florida Ag Expo is gearing up for its best year yet as AgNet Media partners with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) to bring growers the latest information and research to keep their crops growing. While there are many reasons to attend the 2019 show, here are a few that may catch your eye.
- The Most Comprehensive Educational Program to Date
The Florida Ag Expo prides itself on bringing the latest research to growers. Following lunch, two concurrent educational programs will take place. These educational programs will be of interest to both large and small acreage farmers, with one session focusing on pest management in vegetables, and the other on soil fumigation. These sessions also provide growers with the opportunity to earn continuing education units for their Florida restricted-use pesticide licenses.
Once the educational sessions have ended, growers can hop on trams and participate in field tours. There will be two sets of concurrent field tours. One tour will focus on alternative crops; the other on pest management in vegetables. Researchers from UF/IFAS will guide the field tours
2. A Larger Trade Show Than Ever Before
The Florida Ag Expo will feature a larger trade show than ever before, full of leading suppliers of the inputs, services and equipment needed to produce a successful crop. While walking the trade show floor, attendees can make connections with vendors and see the latest products and services.
3. Listen in on a Hemp Panel
With all the hype around hemp, many growers are still contemplating whether they’ll want to produce the crop once legalities allow them to do so. During the morning of Florida Ag Expo, growers can attend a panel discussion on hemp and learn more about the legalities and logistics of the crop.
Before the panel begins, Holly Bell, the first director of cannabis for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, will speak on the future of hemp in Florida as an alternative crop. Bell oversees the development of hemp rules, works directly with scientific experts, and ensures Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried’s vision for cannabis in Florida continues moving forward. During the panel, Bell will be joined by Zack Brym, Paul Adams, and Doris Hamilton. The panel will be moderated by Jerry Frankhauser.
4. Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the GCREC
Growers will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) and get a first-hand look at all of the amazing research being done there. The 475-acre facility sits in the heart of Hillsborough County. It has large fields of research plots, laboratories, educational programs and space for student living.
The main goal for each researcher at the GCREC is to help Florida growers, whether by tackling a troubling pest or disease, finding the best method for weed control, or studying a possible new cash crop. During this year’s show, growers can hear details on different projects straight from the experts and see these projects firsthand during the field tours.
5. You Could Win a John Deere Gun Safe!
Make sure to register in advance to attend Florida Ag Expo because all preregistered growers will be eligible for a chance to win a John Deere gun safe courtesy of Everglades Equipment Group. Florida Ag Expo will take place Nov. 21 at the GCREC in Wimauma, Florida. Growers will not want to miss this year’s event, so don’t wait. Click here or call (352) 671-1909 to preregister.
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