PNW vegetable conference going online this year

For the Basin Business Journal | November 6, 2020 1:00 AM

CYBERSPACE — It’s going to be an odd conference this year for members of the Pacific Northwest Vegetable Association as they gather this November.

Because it’s all going to be online. Virtual. On the internet.

According to Sheri Nolan, executive secretary of the Pacific Northwest Vegetable Growers Association, the two-day conference will still focus on education, with half-day sessions devoted to onions, general vegetables, organic vegetables, and pesticide management.

“It’s a new arena,” Nolan said. “As far as the program goes, we’re focusing on education, which is primary to what we do.”

But what will be missing this year are the trade show and a printed program, which will be emailed to all registered participants as a PDF.

“The trade show is not an option,” Nolan said. “This year, we are offering past exhibitors the ability to sponsor our program and get their logo and email address in it.”

The conference is scheduled this year for Wednesday, Nov. 18, and Thursday, Nov. 19. Attendees must register — base ticket price is $110 per person, though bigger groups can pay $100 per person, Nolan said — in order to get login credentials, and then can attend whichever sessions they want.

Nolan also said there will be no concurrent sessions at this year’s conference.

“Some presentations will be pre-recorded, but all will have a Q&A period after,” she said.

Conference organizers are still working out how classes such as pesticide management will count as continuing education or toward certification, Nolan said, but the plan is that they will.

She also said that while registration has been light right now, she is hoping that it will pick up before the conference itself. This year, she added, there’s not as much reason to register early because there’s no need for attendees to book hotel rooms.

“I’m crossing my fingers; this is a first,” Nolan said. “We hope it goes well.”

The conference will begin its Wednesday, Nov. 18, session on onions from 8:20-11:45. Speakers will include:

• Lindsey du Toit, “SCRI Stop the Rot Project Update.”

• Joel Felix, “Season Long Weed Management Strategies.”

• James Woodhall, “Stemphyllim Leaf Blight Control Strategies.”

• Lindsey du Toit, “Evaluation of Fumigation Application Methods with Metam Sodium.”

• Carrie Wohleb, “Where are my Onions? Reasons for Poor Emergence, Reduced Stands and Stunting.”

• Brian Nault, “Onion Thrips Management Strategies.”

The afternoon session from 1-3:45 p.m. will focus on organic vegetables, however no program was announced as of press time.

On Thursday, the morning session from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will focus on pest management, with the following speakers scheduled:

• Lindsey du Toit, “Fungicide Mobility and Conditions Impacting Plant Disease.”

• Lindsey du Toit, “How to Select the Right Fungicide.”

• Bill Cobb, “Recognizing Drift Events and Consequences.”

• Allan Felsot, “Glyphosate: a Toxicological and Risk Perspective.”

• Alan Schreiber, “New Product Update”

• Tim Waters, “Wireworms in Vegetable Crops.”

• Steven Seefeld, “Yellow Nutsedge Management in Vegetable Crops.”

Finally, the general vegetable session is set for 1-5 p.m., and scheduled speakers include:

• Hannah Rivedal, “Vascular Wilts of Vegetables.”

• Troy Peters, “Greatly Simplified Irrigation Scheduling on Your Phone or Web Browser.”

• Steve Fennimore, “Weed Control in Vegetables is Much More than Herbicides.”

• Carol Miles, “Soil-Biodegradable Plastic Mulch an Alternative to PE Mulch.”

• Silvia Rondon, “Leafhoppers as Vectors of Important Phytoplasma Diseases in the Basin.”

• James Myers, “What’s New From OSU? Vegetables Varietal Development.”

• Troy Peters, “Water Conservation Technologies: Bang for your Buck.”