The International Fruit Tree Association will hold its 65th Annual Conference and Tours Feb. 12–15 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The theme of the conference is “Seeking the Fruit Production Sweet Spot.”
“We are thrilled to welcome IFTA back to Pennsylvania,” said Jen Baugher, president of Adams County Nursery and an IFTA board member. “We have organized an impressive educational program. We have also arranged a full tour day of several grower and industry operations in the Adams County growing region. More than anything, I think we’re just ready to be back together in person. So much of what makes IFTA special is the opportunity to see and interact with folks who have become close friends over the years.”
The conference will open with a welcome reception on Feb. 12. Baugher will give the welcome address Feb. 13. That day’s morning session will cover replant research, orchard establishment and rapid/sudden apple decline. During the afternoon, Ian Goodwin of Agriculture Victoria in Tatura, Australia, will give the Robert Carlson Lecture on “Tatura SmartFarm and Sensors for Summerfruit Projects,” followed by orchard technology updates.
Orchard tours will be held Feb. 14, capped by a social event at the Antique Automobile Museum in Hershey.
The morning of Feb. 15, Cornell University’s Lailiang Cheng will give the Wallace Heuser Presidential Lecture, a five-year overview of the apple Root2Fruit SCRI project. Cheng’s talk will be followed by presentations covering rootstocks and orchard systems. The theme of the afternoon session will be “PGRs, Biostimulants and Snake Oils.”
For the first time, the meeting with be formatted as a hybrid event, offering both in-person and virtual registration, Baugher said.
For more information, visit IFTA’s website at: ifruittree.org.
—by Matt Milkovich