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World -renowned speaker

featured at PacAg Show Hughes headlines busy schedule of sessions for berry growers. By Grant Ullyot


he 17th edition of the Pacific Agriculture Showwill feature a presentation byDr.David

Hughes, emeritus professor of food marketing at Imperial College in London, England. Hughes, amuch sought-after speaker,

has extensive knowledge of global food issues and opportunities.He travels the world talking to businesses, trade associations, governments and conferences on global developments in the food and drink industry. He is a strong proponent of building

‘vertical alliances’ between key chain members in the food industry – farmers, life sciences and input companies, ingredient firms, food and beveragemanufacturers, retailers and food service. The agricultural showis set for Jan.

29-31 in the Tradex Centre at Abbotsford International Airport. Hugheswill participate in the

Building FarmSuccess session on Friday, Jan.30, at 11 a.m. At the show, berry producerswill

have three full days of presentations in the TerraLink room,with the first day’s programming for strawberry and raspberry producers on Thursday. All sessions are organized by the

LowerMainlandHorticulture Improvement Association (LMHIA) and focus on awide variety of topics presented by speakers representing the B.C. and federalministries of agriculture, theU.S.Department of Agriculture, theUniversity of the Fraser Valley,Washington StateUniversity and companies that provide specialty services of benefit to strawberry and raspberry growers. Day 1 topics include discussion about

the future of fumigation; strawberry planting date studies; progress in developing newraspberry and strawberry varietieswithMichael Dossett fromthe BC Blueberry Council,

14 British Columbia Berry Grower • Winter 2014-15

PatMoore fromWashington State University, and EricGerbrandt fromthe University of the Fraser Valley. These presentationswill be followed by a discussion on the effectiveness of fungicides to control Botrytis. Strawberry growerswill be given an

outlook for the 2015 raspberrymarket. Day 2 beginswith the FarmBusiness

sessions. A lens on the berry industry and on agriculture at largewill take up the entiremorning sessions, including the presentation byHughes. Friday afternoon programming is for

growers fromall three berry groups. Presentationswill cover topics ranging fromalternative crops towhether YellowNutsedge is a serious threat for berry growers. The effectiveness of bio-fungicides is

another topic, and a researcher from Oregon StateUniversitywill focus on the all-important SpottedWing Drosophila—an insect that is amajor problemfor berry and soft fruit growers in the Fraser Valley-LowerMainland and in theOkanagan. Another issue up for discussion is

food safety, asking the question, ‘Is CanadaGAP still an essential need for 2015?’Other topics include precision farming, sprayer technology, andMRLs (andwhy should growers care?). Day 3, Saturday, is strictly for

blueberry growers. All topicswill be related to the growing, harvesting, and processing of that commodity. No stranger to the Pac Ag Show,

Bernadine Strik, fromOregon State University in Corvallis,will be backwith

Dr. David Hughes

a report on tissue testing to assess the nutrient status in blueberry cultivars. Shewill also outlinewhich cultivars are the top producers. Elizabeth Elle fromSFUin Vancouver

will also be in attendance. She claims that pollination and fruit set continue to be amajor limiting factor in blueberry production andwill be speaking on her monitoring of research to achieve a better set and the results so far. TracyHueppelsheuser, fromthe BC

Ministry of Agriculture in Abbotsford, will discussweevils that are decimating many blueberry fields.Growers need to learn the signs and nip themin the bud. All berry growers must register to

be able to attend the Horticultural Short Course educational presentations. Pre-registration costs $79 with a fee of $69 for each additional person from the same farm or company. At the door it will cost $110 per person to register.

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