UT Knoxville schedules organic crops field tour for April 28

UT Knoxville schedules organic crops field tour for April 28

Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 8:02 pm

KNOXVILLE  – The University of Tennessee East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center has scheduled its third annual Organic Crops Field Tour for April 28. A trade show will open at 7:30 a.m. and tours and talks will begin at 8:30.

The event should be of interest to home gardeners as well as commercial growers interested in the production of organically grown fruits and vegetables. The 90-acre Organic Crops Unit is dedicated to organic crop research, and the field day will highlight current research projects and discuss organic crop production techniques and recommendations. 

Topics to be presented by UT experts include the use of high tunnels, alternatives to soil fumigants and rainwater collection; soil fertility, weed management and forage production; and fruits/nuts, heirloom tomatoes, bees and wildflowers. Industry and educational exhibits will also be set up at this event.

Pre-registration is just $10 per person and is strongly encouraged. On-site registration on the morning of the program will be $15 per person. The day’s activities will include a lunch and feature presentation by Chef John Antun, director of the UT Culinary Institute. 

Following lunch visitors may participate in a walking tour of the facility and view an equipment display.  All registration fees will cover the costs of lunch and a field tour proceedings booklet.

Organic fruits and vegetables continue to gain in popularity with consumers and have the potential to increase the profits of local producers by reducing the use of off-farm inputs and by filling a niche in a rapidly growing market. 

The UT AgResearch Organic Crops Unit is located at 7315 Government Farm Road in Knoxville. The facility is approximately 7 miles south of the UT Agricultural Campus and downtown Knoxville.  From the UT Agricultural Campus, visitors should follow U.S. Hwy. 129 and take the exit for Hwy 168 (John Sevier Hwy). 

Government Farm Road will be 1.7 miles on the right.  If traveling on John Sevier Hwy from U.S. Hwy 441, Government Farm Road will be 5.0 miles on the left.

To pre-register, please visit this website:  http://organics.tennessee.edu/FieldTour.html by April 25.  Alternatively, call the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at 865-974-7201, for more information or to request an accommodation for accessibility.

UT AgResearch, in cooperation with UT Extension and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, launched the organic agriculture initiative to involve more Tennessee farmers in organic production for the purpose of increasing farm income. For additional information visit the Web site: http://organics.tennessee.edu/ <http://organics.tennessee.edu/

The East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center is one of 10 outdoor laboratories operated by UT AgResearch, a division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. In addition to its agricultural research programs, the Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction and public service through the UT College
of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.

The Organic Crops Field Tour is the first of many such open houses scheduled this year at UT AgResearch facilities across the state. For more information about UT field days and special events, contact your county Extension office, UT AgResearch or visit our website at

wcp 3/29/11

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