COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Technology -- from computers to digital imagery to GPS equipment -- is becoming more integrated in agricultural production, improving field applications, streamlining businesses and opening new worlds in production management. Those hungry for the latest in innovative technologies will have their plates full at the Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Growers Congress, being held Jan. 16-18 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.
The three-day conference and trade show will highlight an Emerging Technologies Workshop on Jan. 16 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The workshop will cover a series of sessions ranging from sprayer technologies to computerized mapping to e-commerce. A list of presentations includes:
• Sprayer Technologies for Fungicide and Insecticide Application: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The session covers strategies for reduction of spray drift, minimizing exposure to pesticides by applicators, instrumentation to determine uniformity of chemical mixing in sprayer tanks, and direct injection of agricultural chemicals.
• Computerized Mapping for Crop Site Selection and Management: 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn how to use free available software, imagery, and other geo-referenced data to help plan and manage an agricultural enterprise.
• Online Specialty Crop Resources: 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Learn how to make the best use of search engines, Internet browsers, and computer hardware to improve production.
• E-Commerce: Buying and Selling Online: 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Learn about e-commerce and how to use the Internet to trade trends, and buy services, supplies and equipment.
• Introduction to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technologies and Applications in Product Tracking: 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Learn more about RFID to track commodities from packaging to the final marketplace.
In addition to the Emerging Technologies Workshop, the Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Growers Congress is offering a new spin in insect and disease diagnostics by incorporating the latest in digital imagery and data management.
"The purpose of the session is to show participants how digital imagery technology can assist inidentifing plant problems and diagnose insects and diseases," said Nathan Watermeier, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural and Natural Resources Program Director.
The session, "New Technologies for In-Season Plant, Insect, and Disease Diagnostics," will be held on Jan. 17 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and cover such topics as how the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic uses digital imagery to assist in identifing plant problems, learning the pitfalls from using technology versus the human eye, tips and techniques for taking digital photos, field applications for digital photography, and sending and receiving digital imagery and data management.
Conference participants are encouraged to bring their own digital camera to get hands-on instruction about taking quality digital photos. Mike Shade of Freyer Company, Inc., a guest speaker, will present information on analyzing digital images at the micro-level.
The Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Growers Congress is sponsored by OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio Fruit Growers Society, Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association, Ohio Direct Agricultural Marketing Association and the Mid American Ag and Hort Services. For more information, log on to http://www.ohiovegetables.org, or http://www.ohiofruit.org.