The Alabama Extension commercial horticulture team has several educational activities and resources that anyone can use from the comfort of their home. Below are all of the activities along with videos recently recorded.
Virtual Farm Tour
The team recently started a weekly Virtual Farm Tour on Thursdays through the Alabama Farmer Connection Facebook group. The recordings of the farm tour are posted in the group and participants can ask questions during this Facebook Live. Past farm tours include
- Scott Honey Farm and Organics
- Isom’s Orchard U-Pick Flower Patch
- Reeves peach farm
- Deep South Food Alliance
- Black’s Goat Farm
- Johnson Cattle Farm
- The Market at Ag Heritage Park
- Blue Rooster Farm
- Champion Farms
- Ireland Farm
- Flint City Farm
- Mayim Farm
- LouAllen Farm
Watch these and new farm tours on the Facebook page.
Q & A Friday!
Team members are also available to interact on Fridays through the Q & A Friday! on the Alabama Extension Commercial Horticulture Facebook page. This is a great way to get farming or gardening questions answered directly by subject matter experts.
Past Q & A Friday! Videos
- Topics include phoney peach disease, apple diseases, grape root borer, grape sharpshooters, spotted wing drosophila, samples of grape and apple diseases from field, and vegetable pests such as caterpillars, stink bugs, squash bugs, and spider mites.
- Topics include weed control and armyworms in turf, turfgrass disease – including slime mold and leaf spot, squash vine borer management, and irrigation management for turf.
- Topics include disease identification in tomatoes and squash, new insect pest Hemlock woody adelgid, cut flower as a marketing tactic, nursery and landscape industry update, pesticide safety training, and aphid and snail management in vegetables.
- Topics include hemp insect pests, strawberry cultivar evaluation, enhancing conservation while implementing food safety practices.
- Topics include diseases of watermelon and squash, ozone damage to crops, how to grow transplants in greenhouse, various soil media, greenhouse spray equipment, and fruit tree problems.
- Topics include turfgrass issues (weed control, grass selection), pest issues (grasshoppers, spider mites, Japanese beetles, billbugs, etc), and disease questions (cedar apple rust). Also crabgrass control, spray equipment cleaning, and pesticide drift.
- Topics include fertilizer applications, various growth issues on tomatoes, pumpkin production, armyworm and aphid damage to crops, aphid parasites and aphid mummies, CDC guidelines for farms, food safety issue on leafy greens, and soil testing.
- Topics include strawberry, peach, banana, and blueberry production methods, as well as a detailed discussion on invasive insect pests like spotted wing drosophila and brown marmorated stink bugs. Crop observations and insect pest alerts were also discussed.
- Topics include fruit plant diseases, diseases of peas and cucurbits, irrigation and trellising systems for vegetable crops, peach production, blueberry varieties, and insect pests of squash, and Brussels sprout.
- Topics include fire ant biology and management, IPM resources.
- Topics include irrigation and water management, microirrigation systems, trap crops and pest exclusion for insect control in vegetables, soil sampling technique, turfgrass varieties and lawn mowing techniques, turfgrass diseases, and weather effect on tomato diseases.
- Topics include soil solarization, insect monitoring and pest exclusion systems, squash insect pests and diseases, strawberry diseases, water management on vegetable gardens, cover crops, and use of natural enemies (lacewings).
- Topics include crop progress, strawberry production on Norris Farms (Hokes Bluff, Alabama), insect and disease problems, hemp production and regulations, irrigation monitoring, and techniques to reduce non-target effects of spray applications.
- Topics include crop rotation, stink bugs, leaffooted bugs, cucurbit diseases, nursery crops, turfgrass choices, and fire ant management in gardens.
- Topics include fruit and vegetable production, pest management, and turfgrass management with an emphasis on weed and disease control.
- Topics include food safety and farmers market issues amid the coronavirus pandemic and a discussion of vegetable pest management issues reported to the Extension team during week.
Commercial Horticulture Webinars
The Alabama Extension Commercial Horticulture Team hosts live monthly webinars on timely topics from Extension professionals. The list of topics and schedule can be found here.
Please find all webinars and more educational videos on our YouTube playlist.
Farming Basics Online Course
If you are a beginning farmer or are thinking of starting a farm-related business, then Farming Basics Online Course is a valuable resource before starting out your venture. This four-hour course is a free module-based learning system with built in interactive quizzes that generates a custom certificate at completion.
Farming Basics Mobile App
The Farming Basics Mobile App is a free download on Apple and Android devices. The app has a library of popular horticultural crops and pest pictures as well as contact information for the Commercial Horticulture regional agents. The Alabama Extension Commercial Horticulture Facebook page is also accessible from the app.
This app also connects to the YouTube playlist that has videos and webinars on a variety of farming topics like food safety, marketing, integrated pest management (IPM), grafting techniques, and much more.
Alabama IPM Communicator Newsletter
The Alabama IPM Communicator Newsletter is another great resource to receive timely crop production and pest alerts on a mobile device. The pest alerts are sent twice per month (at a minimum) all year in the form of web links to blog articles and educational events in a mobile-friendly email. Visit the Alabama IPM Communicator Newsletter page on the Alabama Extension website to self-subscribe to the newsletter.
AlabamaBeginningFarmer.com is the go-to website for educational information for those getting started. Information includes digital publications as well as videos. Resources include pieces such as the Southeastern Vegetable Crop Production Handbook, the High Tunnel Crop Production Handbook (also a free iBook), and the IPM slide charts.