Jan 7, 2020
NYS Berry Growers Association, Cornell Extension offer strawberry substrate workshop

Growing strawberries in substrate (soil-less media) can help prevent soil-borne diseases, increase yields, improve quality, and reduce the costs associated with pesticides, fertilizer, and water.

To aid professional berry growers in learning about this valuable subject, the New York State Berry Growers Association (NYSBGA) has collaborated with Cornell Cooperative Extension to create the first In-Depth Strawberry Substrate Workshop at Moakley House in Ithaca on Feb. 11-13. Space is limited to 35 participants. The cost is $195 for current NYSBGA members and $245 nonmembers, and registration can be completed online.

This three-day workshop will cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Strawberry-substrate culture and production systems
  • Greenhouse vs. high-tunnel environmental control
  • Cultivar selection
  • Strawberry response to temperature, water, light, CO2
  • Substrates and fertilizers 
  • Plant management
  • Pruning
  • Harvest and post-harvest
  • Strategies for improving fruit quality

Speakers at the In-Depth Strawberry Substrate Workshop will include experts from Delphy, a worldwide leader in food and flower production based in the Netherlands, Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and others. Read more details about the event.

 Elizabeth Madison, chair of the NYSBGA, said, “New York is at a pivotal point where our farmers have two critical components necessary for growing: land and water. However, we have a short growing season. In the past few years, we have seen large international companies move into the upstate region, growing high-value crops completely under cover in a controlled environment, which allows for an extending growing. The New York State Berry Growers Association jumped at the opportunity to work with the world-class experts at Delphy, who are successfully growing strawberries on substrate, and agricultural experts at Cornell. Our goal is to jump-start the industry and give independent growers the competitive edge they need to be profitable.”  

Breakfast, lunch, and printed handouts are included in the registration fee. Accommodations are available at the Best Western University Inn in Ithaca; ask for a room for the New York State Berry Growers Association workshop. The Best Western provides a free hot breakfast and shuttle to the workshop.

Founded in 1988, the New York State Berry Growers Association (NYSBGA) is a nonprofit educational association for berry growers, from large wholesale family farms to independent farm stands and small pick-your-own operations, across New York State. The NYSBGA promotes the growing and marketing of berries through the exchange of valuable information, including scientific research and farming techniques. We also represent growers in issues of labor, research, and technology, both academically and legislatively, and award research grants to study and address issues important to New York State berry growers.

To locate a farm in your area of New York that sells fresh, locally grown berries, visit our Find a Farm directory. Or bookmark our blog for nutritional information, recipes, and original serving ideas.

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