Members of the NCAT Gulf States office enjoyed handing out publications and mixing with farmers at the recent Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Conference held at Auburn University.
A highlight was the demonstration farm where Auburn is testing varieties of bananas that can be grown in the United States coastal region.
The field trials are being held with hopes that local growers can provide a crop that competes with grocery imports. The trials are in their infancy; but so far 2 varieties survived last year’s 21- and 25-degree lows to harvest; they think at least one will survive this year’s 9-degree low; and this was in central Alabama, not the Coast. Trials are being held further south in Alabama, as well.
We had a number of dignitaries stop by our booth, including Dr. Ayanava Majumdar – or “Dr. A” as locals call him – who has been studying “trap crop” plants that can lure harmful insects from organic vegetable crops.
Auburn is doing groundbreaking work in Integrated Pest Management and Organics (relatively rare in the South) due in large part to Dr. A’s work. For more info, see the Alabama Cooperative Extension website: www.aces.edu/go/87
We handed out more than 500 publications at the AFVGA conference, and look forward to continued association with AFVGA and the Alabama growers we met.
For more information about NCAT/ATTRA publications and information/expertise we offer, see: https://attra.ncat.org/
Or call Gulf States Regional Director Rockiell Woods toll free: (866) 643-2767.