Fruit, vegetable growers hear about new laws, opportunities

Johnny Morgan, Fontenot, Kathryn

News Release Distributed 12/09/13

BATON ROUGE, La. – Attendees at the recent Louisiana Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association meeting heard presentations on new ways of marketing their products and how to avoid liability on the farm and in the marketplace during the winter meeting at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens on Dec. 4.

LSU AgCenter gardening specialist Kiki Fontenot said the winter meeting is an opportunity to bring the growers together and provide them with the latest information for their industry.

A new addition to the semi-annual meeting was the presence of vendors with information about their products and services.

“We have vendors here displaying products ranging from tractors to irrigation equipment,” Fontenot said.

The organization boosts of having members from every region of the state.

The meeting also included a field day, where growers not only listened to speaker’s presentations, but also boarded hay wagons to tour research plots.

During the tour and field demonstrations, Fontenot discussed the best broccoli varieties for commercial producers in terms of increasing yield and grade.

“Our goal with the organization is to promote consumption of local produce and best management production practices when growing edible crops,” Fontenot said.

The meeting focused on growing practices through a presentation on seed treatments to reduce bacterial diseases by LSU AgCenter extension plant pathologist Melanie Lewis Ivey.

Another area that Fontenot said was important for participants to learn was the demonstrated labeled and not labeled herbicide rates on direct seeded lettuce and fertilizer rates on barefoot strawberries.

“The other focus of this meeting was liability,” Fontenot said. “Basically, we wanted to open up discussion on food safety liabilities a farmer assumes as well as liabilities on people who trespass on farms or might hurt themselves if injured at a u-pick type situation.”

Fontenot said she wants Louisiana growers to be successful both in terms of growing excellent crops and making money, but also in running sound businesses.

“We listen to growers to see what information they need and conduct trials to see what works and what doesn't,” she said.

Johnny Morgan

12/9/2013 10:12:04 PM
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