BioSolutions Conference Offers In-Depth Learning Opportunities

Next month’s BioSolutions Conference & Expo in Visalia, CA, promises to deliver groundbreaking developments in biological products, including micronutrients, biopesticides, and beneficial insects. In addition to the educational program packed with university, grower, and supplier experts from across the industry, the conference also includes extra learning opportunities.

A pre-conference tour includes the following stops:

  • Setton Pistachio: Setton Farms advocates for regenerative agriculture, a holistic approach to farming that prioritizes soil health and biodiversity to promote sustainable and resilient ecosystems. It involves implementing practices that minimize negative impacts on the environment and actively improves it. In addition, healthy soils are the foundation for healthy orchards and improving pistachio quality. Setton recycles and reuses 130 million gallons of water annually. They also capture essential rainwater, which is then put back onto pistachios trees using drip irrigation, efficiently producing an abundant crop. 100% of their post-harvest activities are solar-powered by a 1.7-megawatt solar power system, one of the largest in the Central Valley.
  • Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension (KARE) Center: Since its official dedication in 1965, the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension has achieved international acclaim for leadership in the development of new fruit, nut, and grape varieties, innovative cultural and irrigation practices, pest and disease management techniques, and postharvest biology. In addition, KARE plays a leadership role in maintaining the quality of California’s rural environment, with programs in air and water quality, and mosquito management.
  • Terranova Ranch: Terranova Ranch began farming upland cotton, alfalfa hay, wheat, and barley in the early 1980’s, and has grown to produce more than 25 different crops on 6,000 acres, 600 of which are organic. Terranova Ranch pioneered the concept of on-farm water recharge in California, working for more than 25 years toward recharging the aquifer below – their main source of irrigation water. Join Vice President and General Manager Don Cameron as he shares about the Ranch’s sustainable practices and how he financed them.
  • Ramos Torres Winery: At Ramos Torres, sustainable farming and utmost care are taken when tending to the vines at their estate vineyard and at grower partners’ vineyards. Partnering only with growers that are stewards of the land and use a sustainable approach to farming, Ramos Torres believes this methodology makes the best wine. On the tour, winemaker Matt Rule will discuss how the operation works with outside growers to produce perfect fruit to preserve nuance, enhance varietal character, and create complex flavors and aromas in a balanced wine.

Following the conference, there will also be two intensive deep dives on how to integrate new biological approaches, resources, and solutions into your operation.

Cultivating Allies: Harnessing the Power of Beneficial Insects for Sustainable Pest Management in Agriculture

Farmers are increasingly turning to sustainable agricultural practices these days. As part of this movement, many are reevaluating their approach to pest management. Some of the ways growers are rethinking this is by focusing on and understanding beneficial insects. This can include utilizing their local beneficials by attracting them to production areas or supplementing populations by adding in native/naturalized species. This workshop, moderated by Suzanne Wainwright-Evans (Owner, Buglady Consulting) and Kimberly Horton (Agronomy Manager, Taylor Farms) will cover the following:

American Horticultural Society Launches Lifelong Learning Self-Paced Online Course

  • Learn how to identify beneficial insects and gain resources to help with this task
  • Explore techniques for attracting beneficials using insectary plantings and banker plant systems
  • Study resources to see how compatible their pesticides are with these beneficials
  • Hear from Horton how the practices Taylor Farms has adopted in its pest management program to make it more sustainable

Navigating Towards Sustainable Pest Management: A Practical Workshop for Farmers, Researchers, and Advisers

This engaging workshop is aimed at empowering farmers, researchers, and advisers to navigate the path towards Sustainable Pest Management (SPM) in California. Explore the implications of the California Roadmap to SPM and its relevance to specialty crop cultivation in North America. In this hands-on session, participants will identify challenges and opportunities associated with SPM implementation, with a focus on solutions tailored to smaller-scale operations. Gain practical insights and strategies to overcome barriers to sustainable pest management.

More information on the pre-conference tour and post-conference workshop are available here.

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