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Virginia horticulturalists are rushing to plant and harvest ornamental fruit trees for the 2017 fruiting season. For years, these trees have been out of the limelight, but as the country struggles with a bitter cold winter, they’re more popular than ever. The variety of choices and gorgeous fruit color is sure to please any tree lover.
Virginia State Division of Agriculture and Consumer Services Horticulture Section Events
Friday, March 23
The 2017-18 seasonal fruit growing season opens on March 23 with an 8:30 a.m. opening on the Virginia Nursery Site at the North American Olive Center in Mecklenburg County. From there, the busy season will slide on to the third week of April.
Today, March 23, is the official opening of the 2017-2018 fruiting season for Virginia’s farmers and lovers of fruit. Ornamental fruit growers, tree buyers, and general public are invited to take a lesson in fruit growing and harvesting from a professional and informative staff at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Horticulture Section in Mecklenburg County.
The event will be held today, March 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the North American Olive Center at 3515 Mecklenburg Road in Mecklenburg County. To meet the needs of this busy season, additional sessions will also be offered on April 13 and April 20, at 10 a.m.
“Virginia is one of the most diverse fruit-growing regions in the world, boasting more than 60,000 acres under certified fruit trees,” said Dr. Mike St. Clair, administrator and chief horticulturalist of the division. “Virginia grows some of the highest-quality fruit and the best wine grapes in the country.
“The 2017-2018 season is exciting not only because of the variety of fruits available but also for the chance to see a different side of fruit growing and harvesting than you’ve seen before,” St. Clair said. “Our events are designed to educate people about the fun and exciting part of farming here in Virginia.”
James P. Larkin, North American Olive Center director, will open the event with an instructional session on how to grow fruit trees and the best locations to plant them. After that, Paul P. Murphy, executive director of the North American Olive Center, will offer an overview of the North American Olive Center and how the center and its members collaborate with other growers and researchers for a healthier and more sustainable olive agriculture.
Following Larkin and Murphy’s presentations, members of the Virginia Fruit Production Team will offer a hands-on demonstration and interactive learning session on selecting, planting, and growing fruit trees.
In addition to the public program, there will be free private educational sessions offered at locations throughout the state, as well as a technology demonstration day featuring the latest and most effective tools for tree growers.
]]>,http://www.virginiagreens.virginia.gov/2017-2018-fruiting-season-open-today-march-23/feed/0January 2015: Agricultural Water Quality Inventoryhttp://www.virginiagreens.virginia.gov/january-2015-agricultural-water-quality-inventory/
http://www.virginiagreens.virginia.gov/january-2015-agricultural-water-quality-inventory/#commentsTue, 22 Jan 2015 07:07:38 +0000http://www.virginiagreens.virginia.gov/?p=30012January 2015: Agricultural Water Quality Inventory
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announces that the Virginia Agricultural Water Quality Inventory (VAWQI) has been completed for the month of January. According to VDACS, the Agriculture Water Quality Inventory is mandated by the Clean Water Act, which requires states to assess the quantity and quality of agricultural water. The Virginia Water Quality Inventory is based on a monthly sampling of water from both surface and groundwater wells and includes a state-wide summary of water quality and quantity.
All Virginia water suppliers are required by federal and state laws to conduct an annual agricultural water quality inventory. Water suppliers report their results to the US EPA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Local county extensions will be conducting the monthly agricultural water quality inventory form for their county. County extension offices will also be distributing the encrypted spreadsheet database for the inventory.
The VAWQI is collected and reported to VDACS by local county extension offices. All agricultural water quality data is reported for the entire state and is considered to be the best data for water quality in Virginia.
The latest inventory results for January 2015 include:
“It is important to understand that a healthy and productive water supply is essential for a thriving agriculture industry and a strong economy,” said Dr. Mike St. Clair, administrator and chief horticulturalist of the VDACS Division of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “As we begin the 2015-2016 growing season, it is encouraging to see that the quality of Virginia’s water supplies is improving.”
About the Virginia Agricultural Water Quality Inventory:
The water quality and quantity inventory is mandated by the Clean Water Act, which requires states to assess the quantity and quality of agricultural water. Virginia has been sampling agricultural water since 1999. Each month, agricultural water samples are collected from both surface and groundwater wells