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high tunnel

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System Beginning Farmer program offers special training events for all farmers. This program, with the help of the commercial horticulture team, has several educational activities and digital resources available to everyone from the comfort of home. Find links to materials and videos below.

Commercial Horticulture Webinars

Monthly webinar presentations are available live at 9 a.m. the last Monday of each month. Topics include greenhouse production, insect pest alerts and management, disease diagnosis, and more. The calendar for these webinars is shown below. Join via Zoom here to watch these webinar live on their respective dates.


Commercial Horticulture Team Webinar Presentations

Commercial Horticulture Team Webinar Presentations
January 29Planting for Bees
Preparing for Spring Vegetable Production
Olivia Fuller, Andre da Silva

February 26

Horticulture Outlook
Hemp Transplant Production

Wendiam Sawadgo, Jeremy Pickens
March 25

How to Send Insect Samples for Diagnosis
Update on Neopestalotiopsis Leaf Spot and Fruit Rot of Strawberry

Meredith Shrader, Ed Sikora
April 29

Tomato Management Considerations

Grafting Fruit Trees

Neil Kelly, Chip East
May 20Marketing Strategies for Specialty Crops
Proactive Turf Disease Management
Canopy Management for Grapes
Wendiam Sawadgo, Amanda Strayer, Elina Coneva
June 24

Trellising Systems for Grapes, Muscadines, and Blackberries
Orchard Weed Management

Eric Schavey, David Lawrence
July 29

Growing Vegetable Transplants for Commercial Production
Truck Gardening/Market Gardening

Jacob Kelley, Bethany O’Rear
August 26

Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
How to Identify Weeds for Decision-making

Camila Rodrigues, David Han
September 30

Farm Transitioning/Succession Planning
High-Tunnel Crop Production
Emerging Issues in Fruit Crops Production

Adam Rabinowitz, Andre da Silva, Elina Coneva
October 28

Operation Grow for Military Veterans: From Information to Infrastructure
Soil Testing and Nutrient Management

Harli Willis, Rishi Prasad
November 18

Agriculture Water Safety
Licensing for Landscapers

Camila Rodrigues, John Nabors
January 30

Growing Annuals for the retail market
Chill accumulation update for South, Central and North AL
Vegetable crops and what to grow in the spring

Jeremy Pickens, Edgar Vinson, Andre da Silva
February 27

Pecan management

Pruning bunch grapes

Fruit & Vegetable Market Outlook.

Chip East, Elina Coneva, Wendiam Sawadgo
March 27Bulletin 2 training for endangered species
How to select and use commercially available beneficial insects for the farm
Planning ahead for turf insects
Sonja Thomas, Ayanava Majumdar, Katelyn Kesheimer
April 24

Low tunnel strawberry production
New fungicides for turfgrass diseases
Food safety for U-pick operations

Edgar Vinson, Jim Jacobi, Camila Rodrigues
May 22

Food safety for U-pick operations
Fungicide application considerations for turf
Planning Ahead for Turf Pests

Camila Rodrigues, Amanda Scherer, Katelyn Kesheimer
June 26

Mid-season insect pest report
Fruit crop update
Diagnostic Lab Updates

Ayanava Majumdar, Elina Coneva Kassie Conner
July 31

Fertilizer formulations for turfgrasses
Grafted Tomato Trials in SW Alabama
Composting 101

Dave Han ,Jacob Kelley, Olivia Fuller
August 28

Invasive species update: what to watch for
IPM research updates 

Meredith Shrader, Ayanava Majumdar
October 30

Managing overseeded turfgrass
Post season sanitation of equipment and high tunnels
Fall cover crops for pollinators

David Lawrence, Eric Schavey, Olivia Fuller
November 27

BF network education resources
Landscape industry updates
Food safety for indoor agriculture

Ayanava Majumdar, Bethany O'Rear, Camila Rodrigues
January 31Jeremy Pickens, Edgar Vinson, Jessie Rowan, and Kassie Conner
February 28Chip East, Wendiam Sawadgo, and Kristin Woods
March 28Adam Rabinowitz, Doug Chapman, Katelyn Kesheimer, and Neil Kelly
April 25

Dave Han, Camila Rodrigues, and Sonja Thomas, Sushan Ru
May 23Elina Coneva, Xing Ping Hu , Amanda Scherer, and David Lawrence
June 27Ayanava Majumdar Elina Coneva, Jacob Kelley, and Katelyn Kesheimer
July 25Eric Schavey, Edgar Vinson, Ed Sikora, and Olivia Fuller
August 29
Jeremy Pickens, Rishi Prasad, and Elina Coneva
October 31David Lawrence, Eric Schavey, and Andre da Silva
November 28Ayanava Majumdar, Dave Han, Bethany O'Rear, and Camila Rodrigues
January 25Economics of greenhouse lettuce, update on chill accumulation in peach varieties, agricultural policy for specialty cropsJeremy Pickens, Edgar Vinson, Adam Robinowitz
February 22Pruning tactics for blueberry production, vegetable grafting techniques, update on blueberry nutrition and production, Specialty crop outlookEric Schavey, Chip East, Elina Coneva, Wendiam Sawadgo
March 2Keys to successful tomato productionJoe Kemble
March 9Tomato/Pepper/Eggplant Insect Pest ManagementAyanava Majumdar
March 16Strawberry production webinar (Small Scale Market Production Series)Neil Kelly
March 16Tomato disease management and fungicide mode of actionEd Sikora
March 23Berry Production: Blueberries (Small Scale Market Production Series)David Koon
March 23Cucurbit disease identification & managementEd Sikora
March 29Direct Marketing Channels, how to rotate organic & chemical insecticides for summer crops, native azalea for Alabama landscape Jessie Boswell, Ayanava Majumdar, Doug Chapman
April 6Cucurbit Insect Pest and Cowpea Curculio Management Ayanava Majumdar and Neil Kelly
April 20Grape & Muscadine UpdatesElina Coneva
April 26Understanding soil phosphorus test, insect management considerations for sweet cornRishi Prasad, Katelyn Kesheimer
April 27Regional Fruit Production Webinar: Focus on Peach ResearchChip East, Edgar Vinson
May 4Regional Fruit Production Meetings - Weed ManagementSteve Li
May 24Strawberry research update, seasonal insect monitoring and management updates, post emergent weed control in turf, Microbial quality of agricultural waterEdgar Vinson, Ayanava Majumdar, Dave Han, Camila Rodrigues
June 28Tips for co-managing wildlife and complying with FSMA, whitefly transmitted viruses of cucurbits – a new problem for Alabama growers, common ornamental diseases part II, Using soil moisture sensors to improve vegetable productionKristin Woods, Ed Sikora, Amanda Sherer, Andre Luiz Biscaia Ribeiro da Silva
July 26Vegetable insect pest updates, Blueberry cultivars assessment and production updateAyanava Majumdar, Elina Coneva
August 30AU plant diagnostic lab updates, latest performance of selected strawberry varieties in central Alabama, budding techniques for citrus, Fall vegetable garden Kassie Conner, Edgar Vinson, Jacob Kelley, Joe Kemble
September 27Fall vegetable IPM tips, high tunnel ventilation, fruit crops cultivar selectionAyanava Majumdar, Jeremy Pickens, Elina Coneva
October 25The importance of crop rotation, peach orchard maintenance after harvest, cold hardiness in fruit cropEric Schavey, David Lawrence, Melba Salazar-Gutierrez,
November 29Landscape industry outlook 2022, pollinator protection, beginning farmer and vegetable IPM resourcesBethany O'Rear, Olivia Fuller, Ayanava Majumdar


Take the Survey

Did you join us for a commercial horticulture webinar? We want to hear from you! Take just a minute or two and fill out the short survey below and tell us what you think. These surveys not only help better our programs but also help determine federal and state funding. This funding allows us to continue providing affordable, research-based education to you and your family.

Take the Commercial Horticulture Webinar survey.


Farming Basics Podcast

The Farming Basics podcast brings the fundamentals of farming to your headphones. Whether you are in a tractor or picking vegetables in a high tunnel, join hosts Olivia Fuller and Jacob Kelley as they talk with experts in the field of specialty crops.

Guests will include new information from researchers with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Auburn University, as well as farmers with first-hand experience implanting research-based practices in their fields. These 15- to 20-minute episodes will cover a range of topics, including everything from variety selections to integrated pest management tools, and more. Episodes will drop every other week throughout the season. Follow the podcast on social media through Instagram and Facebook!



Take the Survey

Did you listen to an episode of the Farming Basics podcast? The commercial horticulture team wants to hear from you! Take just a minute or two and fill out the short survey below and tell the team what you think. These surveys will help better Extension programs. Your input is valued!

Take the Farming Basics Podcast survey!


Virtual Farm Tour

Join the team for a 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. The full list of virtual farm tours for 2022 will be listed soon.


Virtual Farm Tours

March 3Fish River Trees Summerdale, AL
March 17Wallace State Community College's Campus Wallace State Community College's Campus
April 14Joy Haven FarmShorter, AL
March 11Hallmark Farms Mount Hope, AL
March 25J. Calvert Farms Bremen, AL
April 8Jones Valley Teaching FarmBirmingham, AL
April 22Windy HillMentone, AL
May 13Ireland Farms Alpine, AL
May 27 Little Halawakee Farm Opelika, AL
June 10Auburn University Aquaponics Center Auburn, AL
July 8Mayim FarmOpp, AL
July 15Ten Mile Creek NurseryHartford, AL
August 12Bois d'Arc Union Town, AL
August 26Sessions FarmMobile, AL
September 16Sustainable CBDSalem, AL
Lone Oak Farm
Hidden Rivers Farm
Boozer Farms
Scott Honey Farms & Organics 
Isom's Orchard U-Pick Flower Patch
Johnson Farm
The Market at Ag Heritage ParkAuburn, AL
Reeves Peach Farm
Rural Heritage Center Demonstration Farm
Black’s Goat Farm
Champion Farms
Ireland Farms
Blue Rooster Farms
Flint City Farm
Mayim Farm
LouAllen Farm
Fungi Farm 
Mims Hatchett's Farm 

Take the Survey

Did you join us for a virtual farm tour? We want to hear from you! Take just a minute or two and fill out the short survey below and tell us what you think. These surveys not only help better our programs but also help determine federal and state funding. This funding allows us to continue providing affordable, research-based education to you and your family.

Take the Virtual Farm Tour survey.


Vegetable School Webinar Series

Vegetable School 2022 Webinar Series

Feb. 23Tomato Crop Management and Variety Selection and Tomato Insect ManagementAndre Da Silva and Ayanava Majumdar
March 2Cucurbit Variety Selection and Cucurbit Insect ManagementAndre Da Silva and Ayanava Majumdar
March 9Marketing Your Farm Products and Vegetable Crop Weed ControlJessie Rowan and Steve Li
March 16Introduction To High Tunnel Vegetable Production and Cucurbit Disease ManagementAndre Da Silva and Ed Sikora
March 23Budgeting for Vegetable Crop Production and Tomato Disease ManagementJessie Rowan and Ed Sikora
March 30Irrigation/Fertility Management for Vegetable Crops and Organic Insect ManagementAndre Da Silva and Ayanava Majumdar

Take the Survey

Did you join us for a vegetable school webinar? We want to hear from you! Take just a minute or two and fill out the short survey below and tell us what you think. These surveys not only help better our programs but also help determine federal and state funding. This funding allows us to continue providing affordable, research-based education to you and your family.

Take the Vegetable School Webinar Series survey.


Fruit School Webinar Series


Farming Basics Online Course

If you are a beginning farmer or are thinking of starting a farm-related business, then the 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.


Thank you to our funding agencies Specialty Crops Block Grant from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI), USDA-NIFA grants, USDA SARE, and BFRD programs.