Tomato workshop Aug. 6

Tomato diseases, pests and weeds and how to control them will be among the topics discussed by experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences during a workshop Aug. 6 in Fremont.

The Northern Ohio Tomato Field Night will also teach participants how to make the most of their tomato crops by learning what’s new in tomato breeding and how to incorporate value-added markets in their operations, said Matt Hofelich, manager of the university’s North Central Agricultural Research Station.

The program will feature presentations from researchers and educators with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.

As consumer demand continues to grow for healthier food options, tomato growers can take advantage of new plant breeds and learn more about where the industry is heading in terms of tomato varieties, said David Francis, an associate professor of horticulture who will be among the workshop presenters.

“That includes higher demand for plants high in lycopene, beta carotene and other carotenoid pigments that consumers are asking for as they look to eat healthier foods rich in vitamins and natural compounds that fight certain cancers,” Francis said.

The program will also look at how the recent heavy rains are impacting tomato crops, particularly with the development of various fungal diseases including Septoria leaf spot, early blight and late blight, all of which are spread by spores, Hofelich said.

“The main factor this year is disease because of the all the heavy rain,” Hofelich said. “We’ll talk about that and how growers can minimize the potential impact.”

The event is 6-8 p.m. at the North Central Agricultural Research Station, 1165 County Road 43 in Fremont.

The workshop’s agenda includes:

* What’s new in tomato disease control.

* Insect pests in tomatoes and how to control them.

* Controlling tough weeds in tomatoes.

* Herbicide repercussions.

* What’s new in tomato breeding.

* Value-added markets.

Pesticide licensing recertification credits and Certified Crop Adviser continuing education credits are available, organizers said.

For more information, contact Hofelich at 419-332-5142 or hofelich.4@osu.edu; or Mark Koenig at 419-334-6340 or koenig.55@osu.edu.

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