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Peach meeting to cover basics, latest updates

Both new and veteran peach growers will find something useful at the Chilton Area Peach Production Meeting on Feb. 2.

The meeting will begin with Peach Grower 101, a session on the basics of production, from 2-4 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 5 p.m. at the Alabama Power Conference Center in Clanton.

A meal will be served during the latter portion of the meeting, which will last until approximately 8:30 p.m.

“Anybody can come,” Regional Extension Agent Gary Gray said. “There is no admission.”

The idea of Peach Grower 101 is for new growers to learn some of the basics, such as pruning, disease control and orchard planning. Speakers will include Horticulturalist Bobby Boozer, Chilton Research and Extension Center Superintendent Jim Pitts, Clemson Plant Pathologist Dr. Guido Schnabel, and Gray himself.

During the evening session, Schnabel will address peach disease management, highlighting brown rot resistance and bacterial spot management programs.

“Brown rot is one of the diseases that we have the most trouble with, and it’s developed a resistance to certain types of fungicides in Georgia and South Carolina,” Gray said. “It’s not something we’re seeing yet in Alabama, but it’s only a matter of time.”

Attendees will also learn about research updates, tractor safety tips, sprayer calibration and more.

The event is sponsored by the Chilton County Farmers Federation, Clanton Lions Club, and the Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

Those who plan to attend should call the local extension office at 280-6268 by Friday, Jan. 29.