Column: Peach farming class to be hosted in Jemison

Published 11:32 am Monday, February 5, 2024

By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist

The Alabama Extension Commercial Horticulture team is hosting their annual Peach Production meeting on Feb. 7 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Jemison Municipal Complex. The meeting is open to anyone currently growing peaches, or anyone interested in learning about getting started in peach production. Attendees will learn about different aspects of peach management and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies. In an agricultural crop, this may mean rotating between different crops, selecting pest-resistant varieties and planting pest-free rootstock.

“We will have special Auburn University researchers lead talks and will have a special speaker on disease pathology,” David Lawrence, Regional Extension Agent and event organizer, said. “We will discuss disease, insect management and how bad weather impacts the physiology of the tree.”

There will also be presenters discussing produce safety, and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition, which is administered by the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries. The program benefits low-income seniors that are 60 years of age or older in purchasing eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey and fresh-cut herbs) from farmers that grow them and are selling them directly to individuals at local farmers markets and roadside stands.

The event is free, but registration is required to get an accurate head count for lunch, which will be from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The last day to register for the Peach Production meeting is Feb. 5. Seventy-five attendees have registered thus far. Registration info can be found online at aces.edu.

The meeting and lunch are being sponsored by the Clanton Lions Club and Chilton County Farmers Federation.

In addition to the meeting, there will be a private pesticide applicator training class at the Chilton County Extension Center on Feb. 22 at 5:00 p.m.

“It is getting harder to grow due to cost and the resistance to sprays,” said Lawrence. “Hopefully this meeting will help give farmers a successful year.”

Jemison Municipal Complex is located at 14 Padgett Lane, Jemison. For more information or to register for either event, contact the Alabama Cooperative Extension System at 205-280-6268.