Annual Vegetable Spring Field Day set for May 11 in Uvalde

Tomato grafting will be among key topics

Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

Contact: Dr. Daniel Leskovar, 830-278-9151, daniel.leskovar@ag.tamu.edu

UVALDE – The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde will present its annual Vegetable Spring Field Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11.

Grafting tomato (shown here) and other plant varieties onto more robust or well-adapted ones can help them develop more desirable traits. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo)

The event is free and will be held at the center, 1619 Garner Field Road. It is sponsored by the center, Texas Department of Agriculture, Jain Irrigation and JH Biotech, with lunch provided by the First State Bank of Uvalde. The field day also includes breakfast.

Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units – one general and one integrated pest management – are offered for attendees.

Dr. Daniel Leskovar, center director and vegetable physiologist, said the field day will address various crops, growing systems and improvement methods.

“The field day will provide attendees with insights into olive production, cover crops, hydroponics, high tunnel production, organic systems, vegetable breeding and nitrogen-use  efficiency,” he said. “We will also spend a good bit of time discussing tomato grafting.”    

Leskovar said vegetable grafting involves the replacement of one root system with another having more desirable traits.

“As such, grafting susceptible scion varieties onto resistant rootstocks is an effective alternative tool to manage serious soil-borne pathogens, while also enhancing the growth and yield in tomatoes,” he said.

Leskovar said the Vegetable Physiology Team at the center has initiated a study to evaluate the performance of grafted and non-grafted tomato plants under hoop-house and open-field conditions. The team is also screening several tomato rootstocks in order to identify the best rootstock-scion combination for the Wintergarden region.

Attendees must RSVP by May 4 to Liza Silva at 830-278-9151, ext. 232, or lmsilva@ag.tamu.edu.  

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