Annual Farm Fair brings ag issues into focus

The annual Farm Fair and Trade Show kicks off Wednesday and continues through Friday morning.

By Karen Hutchinson-Talaski

Staff writer

HERMISTON — There's lots to see at the Farm Fair and Trade Show this week.

Everything from the latest in equipment, technology and chemical solutions to seminars on water, insects, spuds, livestock and bio-fuels is waiting participants at the 33rd annual event held this week beginning Wednesday and continuing through Friday morning at the Hermiston Conference Center.

A banquet at the Desert River Inn on Thursday evening is always a hit. The cost for the banquet is $20. Entertainment will be provided by the Wambeke Family. The banquet starts at 6 with a no-host social hour. The dinner will be prime rib.

Sponsored by the OSU Extension Service, the Agriculture Committee of the Greater Hermiston Chamber of Commerce and local agriculture-related businesses in the area, the Farm Fair and Trade Show offers a great opportunity to gain knowledge and visit with friends and neighbors over a variety of refreshments courtesy of local food processors.

Certification credits are offered during each seminar. The number of credits depends on the seminar.

Wednesday morning starts out with a bang — a potato production seminar moderated by Don Horneck from OSU will start off on the Main Stage at 8 a.m. There will also be a session in the Board Room regarding meeting current certificated water rights with J.R. Cook, Umatilla County Planner, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. and a seminar on the bio-fuels moderated by Randy Mills of OSU from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

During the afternoon session on Wednesday, on the Main Stage, Phil Hamm of OSU will moderate a discussion on potato production; focusing on sprout control options and an update on the Oregon Potato Commission activities. During the same time frame, a seminar on forage grass seed and legumes will be held in the Altrusa Room, moderated by Horneck. The seminar will focus on alfalfa variety test results, weed and disease control and on field burning. The afternoon sessions begin at 1 p.m. and end at 5 p.m.

Thursday's sessions start off at 8:30 a.m., with three seminars — agricultural issues as they pertain to bio-fuels, pesticide use reporting, and farm succession planning. The farm succession planning seminar will help area farm families write farm succession plans and do estate planning. The bio-fuels and farm succession sessions end at noon, and the pesticide reporting goes through Thursday afternoon.

On tap for Thursday is an afternoon session regarding safe pesticide use with moderators Mary Corp and Tim Stock of OSU. There is a fee of $5 to attend this seminar. Also on Thursday afternoon, there will be session with a variety of topics — weed control in mint and puncture vine management, alternative crops and herbicide carry-over concerns. Both sessions start at 1 p.m. and end at 5 p.m.

Friday ends the week with two seminars on pesticides. Silvia Rondon will moderate the Main Stage session on pesticides for onions and potatoes at 8 a.m. In the Altrusa Room, the safe pesticide use seminar will continue with Corp and Stock. In the Board Room, more on pesticide use reporting will occur. The day will end at noon.

For more information about the farm fair, contact the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center at 567-6337.

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