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
Growing Annuals for the retail market
|Jeremy Pickens, Edgar Vinson, Andre da Silva|
|February 27||Chip East, Elina Coneva, Wendiam Sawadgo|
|March 27||Bulletin 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|
Low tunnel strawberry production
|Edgar Vinson, Jim Jacobi, Camila Rodrigues|
Fruit and vegetable disease Spring update
|Ed Sikora, Amanda Scherer, Andre da Silva|
Mid-season insect pest report
|Ayanava Majumdar, Elina Coneva Kassie Conner|
Fertilizer formulations for turfgrasses
|Dave Han ,Jacob Kelley, Olivia Fuller|
IPM research updates from WREC-Headland
|Neil Kelly, Meredith Shrader, Elina Coneva|
Managing overseeded turfgrass
|David Lawrence, Eric Schavey, Olivia Fuller|
BF network education resources
|Ayanava Majumdar, Bethany O'Rear, Camila Rodrigues|
|January 31||Jeremy Pickens, Edgar Vinson, Jessie Rowan, and Kassie Conner|
|February 28||Chip East, Wendiam Sawadgo, and Kristin Woods|
|March 28||Adam Rabinowitz, Doug Chapman, Katelyn Kesheimer, and Neil Kelly|
|April 25||Dave Han, Camila Rodrigues, and Sonja Thomas, Sushan Ru|
|May 23||Elina Coneva, Xing Ping Hu , Amanda Scherer, and David Lawrence|
|June 27||Ayanava Majumdar Elina Coneva, Jacob Kelley, and Katelyn Kesheimer|
|July 25||Eric Schavey, Edgar Vinson, Ed Sikora, and Olivia Fuller|
|August 29||Jeremy Pickens, Rishi Prasad, and Elina Coneva|
|October 31||David Lawrence, Eric Schavey, and Andre da Silva|
|November 28||Ayanava Majumdar, Dave Han, Bethany O'Rear, and Camila Rodrigues|
|January 25||Economics of greenhouse lettuce, update on chill accumulation in peach varieties, agricultural policy for specialty crops||Jeremy Pickens, Edgar Vinson, Adam Robinowitz|
|February 22||Pruning tactics for blueberry production, vegetable grafting techniques, update on blueberry nutrition and production, Specialty crop outlook||Eric Schavey, Chip East, Elina Coneva, Wendiam Sawadgo|
|March 2||Keys to successful tomato production||Joe Kemble|
|March 9||Tomato/Pepper/Eggplant Insect Pest Management||Ayanava Majumdar|
|March 16||Strawberry production webinar (Small Scale Market Production Series)||Neil Kelly|
|March 16||Tomato disease management and fungicide mode of action||Ed Sikora|
|March 23||Berry Production: Blueberries (Small Scale Market Production Series)||David Koon|
|March 23||Cucurbit disease identification & management||Ed Sikora|
|March 29||Direct Marketing Channels, how to rotate organic & chemical insecticides for summer crops, native azalea for Alabama landscape||Jessie Boswell, Ayanava Majumdar, Doug Chapman|
|April 6||Cucurbit Insect Pest and Cowpea Curculio Management||Ayanava Majumdar and Neil Kelly|
|April 20||Grape & Muscadine Updates||Elina Coneva|
|April 26||Understanding soil phosphorus test, insect management considerations for sweet corn||Rishi Prasad, Katelyn Kesheimer|
|April 27||Regional Fruit Production Webinar: Focus on Peach Research||Chip East, Edgar Vinson|
|May 4||Regional Fruit Production Meetings - Weed Management||Steve Li|
|May 24||Strawberry research update, seasonal insect monitoring and management updates, post emergent weed control in turf, Microbial quality of agricultural water||Edgar Vinson, Ayanava Majumdar, Dave Han, Camila Rodrigues|
|June 28||Tips 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 production||Kristin Woods, Ed Sikora, Amanda Sherer, Andre Luiz Biscaia Ribeiro da Silva|
|July 26||Vegetable insect pest updates, Blueberry cultivars assessment and production update||Ayanava Majumdar, Elina Coneva|
|August 30||AU 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 27||Fall vegetable IPM tips, high tunnel ventilation, fruit crops cultivar selection||Ayanava Majumdar, Jeremy Pickens, Elina Coneva|
|October 25||The importance of crop rotation, peach orchard maintenance after harvest, cold hardiness in fruit crop||Eric Schavey, David Lawrence, Melba Salazar-Gutierrez,|
|November 29||Landscape industry outlook 2022, pollinator protection, beginning farmer and vegetable IPM resources||Bethany 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!
Farming Basics Podcast
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
|2022 Virtual Farm Tours|
|March 3||Fish River Trees||Summerdale, AL|
|March 17||Wallace State Community College's Campus||Wallace State Community College's Campus|
|April 14||Joy Haven Farm||Shorter, AL|
|March 11||Hallmark Farms||Mount Hope, AL|
|March 25||J. Calvert Farms||Bremen, AL|
|April 8||Jones Valley Teaching Farm||Birmingham, AL|
|April 22||Windy Hill||Mentone, AL|
|May 13||Ireland Farms||Alpine, AL|
|May 27||Little Halawakee Farm||Opelika, AL|
|June 10||Auburn University Aquaponics Center||Auburn, AL|
|July 8||Mayim Farm||Opp, AL|
|July 15||Ten Mile Creek Nursery||Hartford, AL|
|August 12||Bois d'Arc||Union Town, AL|
|August 26||Sessions Farm||Mobile, AL|
|September 16||Sustainable CBD||Salem, AL|
|Lone Oak Farm|
|Hidden Rivers Farm|
|Scott Honey Farms & Organics|
|Isom's Orchard U-Pick Flower Patch|
|The Market at Ag Heritage Park||Auburn, AL|
|Reeves Peach Farm|
|Rural Heritage Center Demonstration Farm|
|Black’s Goat Farm|
|Blue Rooster Farms|
|Flint City 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. 23||Tomato Crop Management and Variety Selection and Tomato Insect Management||Andre Da Silva and Ayanava Majumdar|
|March 2||Cucurbit Variety Selection and Cucurbit Insect Management||Andre Da Silva and Ayanava Majumdar|
|March 9||Marketing Your Farm Products and Vegetable Crop Weed Control||Jessie Rowan and Steve Li|
|March 16||Introduction To High Tunnel Vegetable Production and Cucurbit Disease Management||Andre Da Silva and Ed Sikora|
|March 23||Budgeting for Vegetable Crop Production and Tomato Disease Management||Jessie Rowan and Ed Sikora|
|March 30||Irrigation/Fertility Management for Vegetable Crops and Organic Insect Management||Andre Da Silva and Ayanava Majumdar|
Fruit School Webinar Series
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.