Desert crop growers should mark their calendars to get the latest information on desert vegetable crops and more during the 18th annual Desert Vegetable Crops Conference on Nov. 27, 2007 at the Barbara Worth Resort, Holtville, Calif.

The workshop is free to growers and will cover a wide range of topics ranging from E. Coli to pests and field solarization.

The University of California (UC) and University of Arizona (UA) are jointly organizing the conference. Eric Natwick, UC Cooperative Extension director, Imperial County, is the conference chairman.

Western Farm Press is the official conference sponsor.

Continuing education credit is pending for California and Arizona, plus CCA credit.

The tentative agenda includes:

7:30 - Registration

7:45 - Farm Workers Provide Insight for Improving Field Labor Retention in Arizona — Kurt Nolte — UA area Extension agent, Yuma County, Ariz.;

8:00 - Refining Solarization Technology for Desert Agriculture — James Stapelton, IPM plant pathologist, UC Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, Calif;

8:15 - Efficient, Low Cost Sugarbeet Production in the Desert — Stephen Kaffka, Extension agronomist, UC Davis, Davis, Calif.;

8:45 - Aphid Control in Desert Vegetable Production - John Palumbo, UA research scientist, Extension specialist, UA Yuma Agricultural Center; Yuma;

9:00 - Using Sensor Technology to Understand Tillage Efficiency — Pedro Andrade, precision ag specialist, UA Maricopa Agricultural Center, Maricopa, Ariz.;

9:15 - Feedstock for Imperial Bio-Energy Production - Juan Guerrero, area farm advisor, UC Desert and Extension Center, Holtville;

9:30 - Update on E. Coli and Leafy Vegetables — Steven Koike, UC farm advisor, plant pathology, Monterey County, Calif.;

9:45 - Large Bed Vegetable Cropping Systems Enhance Productivity and Water Conservation - Kurt Nolte, area agriculture associate agent, UA Cooperative Extension, Yuma County;

10:00 - Break

10:15 - Lettuce Drop Control in the Low Desert — Thomas Turini, vegetable crops farm advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County;

10:30 - Tolerance of Vegetables to a New Experimental Herbicide - Milton McGiffen Jr., UC Cooperative Extension specialist, plant physiologist, Riverside, Calif.;

10:45 - New Insecticides for Worm Control in Vegetables - Eric Natwick, Imperial County Extension director and entomology farm advisor, UC Desert and Extension Center, Holtville;

11:00 - Update on the Introduction of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus into California: Implications for California Tomato Production — Maria Rojas — plant biologist, UC Davis;

11:15 - Epidemiology and Management of Cucurbit Yellow Stunting Disorder Virus in Desert Melons - William Wintermantel, research plant pathologist, USDA-ARS, Salinas, Calif.;

11:30 - Potential Heavy Metal Exposure from Vegetable Crops Produced in the Southwestern U.S. - Charles Sanchez, resident director and soil, water and environmental science professor, UA Yuma Agricultural Center, Yuma;

11:45 - The Effects of Soil Moisture and Sunlight During the Week Prior to Harvest in Lettuce - Jorge Fonseca, assistant specialist, professor, UA plant sciences department, Yuma;

12:00 - Phosphorus Application Practices on Alfalfa and Runoff Water Quality - Khaled Bali, irrigation/water management advisor, UC Desert and Extension Center, Holtville; and

12:15 - Lunch - provided at no charge for those who RSVP by Nov. 19 — courtesy of Western Farm Press and commercial suppliers.

For more information and to preregister, contact Natwick at etnatwick@ucdavis.edu, or Cary Blake, associate editor, Western Farm Press, at cblake@farmpress.com.

Growers can register at the door.