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Blueberry School: New Topics, Spanish Translation Part of Draw

Oregon State University is hosting the third OSU Blueberry School, and first since 2007, March 16 and 17 in Corvallis.

The idea behind the school is to provide experienced and beginning growers information on everything from site selection, markets and how to develop and maintain good plantings of different cultivars, according to Bernadine Strik, who is the lead organizer of the school.

“We want to help growers produce high-quality fruit with high yields, while minimizing input costs as much as possible,” Strik said, “and to help ensure those who are getting in the business make the correct decisions.”

The school has eleven continuing education credits, which is helping drive strong registration from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, Strik said.

Also helping drive registration numbers, the school for the first time is conducting simultaneous translation of the presentations into Spanish thanks for sponsors, including the Oregon Blueberry Commission. “In addition to growers, many farms are sending their Latino crews,” Strik said.

Speakers include researchers from OSU, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Washington State University. Industry members also are providing presentations, Strik said.

New topics on the agenda this year include a section on blueberry plant physiology and practical information on fertigation. Presenters also will provide new information on nutrition management, including a look at leaf-tissue standards for various cultivars.

Strik said the school is unique in that it takes an extension approach to sharing research information.

“Growers will get more from this meeting than any other as these are extension talks, not research talks,” Strik said. “We are pulling together the latest information on best management practices.”

The school will be held on the OSU campus at the LaSells Stewart Center and CH2M Hill Alumni Center.

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