UACES Facebook Horticultural field day to help growers succeed with produce, identify common pests
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Horticultural field day to help growers succeed with produce, identify common pests

By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
April 3, 2019

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HOPE, Ark. – The 2019 Horticultural Field Day is scheduled for May 16 at the Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope. The day-long event will include a symposium of experts speaking on subjects ranging from blackberry, blueberry and muscadine production to identifying and managing troublesome pests, including root-knot nematodes and common diseases.

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Sherrie Smith, plant pathologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, will be available to help diagnose any ailing plants attendees bring with them to the field day.

Amanda McWhirt, extension fruit and vegetable horticulture specialist for the Division of Agriculture, is scheduled to deliver a presentation on growing blueberries in Arkansas, as well as lead a hands-on cover crops workshop in the afternoon.

“We are going to discuss the basics of using cover crops in vegetable systems as well as updates on watermelon production, and then show off some of our winter cover crop research for watermelons,” McWhirt said. “We will be inside for a short while to cover the basics and get research updates, and then we’ll go outside and look at several research plots and hear from researchers, graduate students and weed and pest management specialists Matt Bertucci and Jackie Lee.”

The schedule of events includes:

  • 7:30-8:00: Registration. Jams, jellies and biscuits, courtesy of Ouachita District Food and Consumer Science agents, will be available.
  • 8:00: Welcome from Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick, Interim Director of the Southwest Research and Extension Center
  • 8:15: Fruit and Vegetable Diseases, with Jackie Lee, extension horticulture integrated pest management specialist
  • 8:45: Root-knot Nematodes in Tomatoes, with Amanda Greer, U of A pant pathology and entomology instructor
  • 9:10: Nematodes Show & Tell at Microplots, with Amanda Greer
  • 9:30: Growing Blueberries in Arkansas, with Amanda McWhirt, extension commercial horticulture specialist
  • 10:00: Growing Blackberries in Arkansas, with John Clark, distinguished professor and fruit breeder
  • 10:30: Watermellon and Turf Studies, with Matt Bertucci, research scientist for the U of A Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences
  • 11:00: Growing Muscadines in Arkansas, with Margaret Worthington, assistant professor, U of A Department of Horticulture
  • 11:30: Q & A Session, with Division of Agriculture specialists and Irrigation Mart representative Chris Friedman
  • 12:00: Lunch
  • 1:00: Cover Crops Workshop, with Amanda McWhirt 

Preregistration for the event is encouraged to ensure that enough meals are prepared. To preregister, call the SWREC at 870-777-9702, download, print and mail in the event flyer at or register online at

To learn about horticulture in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.  

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.   

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Ryan McGeeney
Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2120