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Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook

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Monday, February 25, 2019 - 7:00am

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Amy Myers: Today we're talking about the Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook. Hello, I'm Amy Myers and welcome to Farm and Family. Today we're speaking with Dr. Rick Snyder, Mississippi State University Extension Vegetable Specialist. Rick, there's a really useful handbook that folks can use who raise vegetable crops. What's the purpose of this 2018 Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook?

Dr. Rick Snyder: Yes, I'll just say the Handbook because that sure is a long title isn't it?

Amy Myers: Yes.

Dr. Rick Snyder: The Handbook is intended for commercial vegetable producers in Mississippi as well as all over the southeast and the way it got started 19 years ago is when a professor from North Carolina State University, Dr. Doug Sanders, got the idea the what growers really need is one extension bulletin that they can keep on the dashboard of their truck and it's always there. He referred to this as a dashboard book for growers. Now, after 19 years, we're still doing it and the good thing about this book is that it has all of the vegetables grown in the southeaster U.S. as well disease management and cultural practices, planting dates for all of them. We have the expertise from extension specialists from 12 land grant universities rolled into one book.

Amy Myers: It gets reproduced once a year so all of information is updated and that's the great thing about it. Tell me more about who would be interested in all this information.

Dr. Rick Snyder: The book is primarily intended for commercial vegetable producers. People who grow vegetables for a living. If somebody is a home gardener it's not really intended for you but it you'd like to look at it you can still download it for free and gather whatever information you can from it.

Amy Myers: Anybody that might be thinking about becoming a commercial grower might be interested in it.

Dr. Rick Snyder: That's right. It's very good for people thinking of getting in on the commercial vegetable business because you can learn so much from this book. It's huge.

Amy Myers: Great. What else would you like to say about the information that this covers?

Dr. Rick Snyder: Well the book is organized into three main parts and I'll start with the middle part. The middle part has the cultural information so you look up each vegetable. Like if you looked up tomatoes it would give you the planting dates for each of the southeastern states, which varieties work best in each state and then some of the unique things about producing that vegetable that you need to know. The third section deals with pest management. And it's divided between insects, diseases and weed control so you look up the vegetable and then you look up the pest and it tells you the most recommended chemicals. And the first part of book that I skipped before is a collection of tables and figures with all kinds of data and useful facts such as how much fertilizer each crop needs, irrigation, fertigation, pesticide application. It's loaded with facts.

Amy Myers: Okay. This is very very helpful. You mentioned earlier about who is responsible for getting it together and it's many different experts and specialists from various states, is that correct?

Dr. Rick Snyder: That's right. It started 19 years ago with just five states and Mississippi was one of the charter members but since then we've added on a few other states over the years so between having 12 land grant universities involved it includes about 40 extension specialists and all of their expertise that are put into the book.

Amy Myers: These are people who are specialists in vegetables and maybe also pest management and maybe even some soil specialists in there?

Dr. Rick Snyder: Yes. We have quite a mixture. The biggest portion is the horticulture people but we have entomologists, plant pathologists, weed scientists, soil scientists, and some other related fields all contributing.

Amy Myers: Okay. This is really good credible information.

Dr. Rick Snyder: Yes, credible, up to date and non-biased from land grant universities.

Amy Myers: Okay, so tell me how interested individuals can go about locating this 2018 Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook.

Dr. Rick Snyder: The best way to find it is to use the search bar in your browser. Like if you're Googling just search for Southeastern Vegetable Crop Handbook. But it's very helpful if you put 2018 in there because previous years are also online.

Amy Myers: Okay. You can just download it for free.

Dr. Rick Snyder: Yes. You can read it on your computer or you can print the whole thing.

Amy Myers: Okay. Thank you so much. Today we've been speaking with Dr. Rick Synder, Mississippi State University Extension Vegetable Specialist. I'm Amy Myers and this is has been Farm and Family. Have a great day.

Anouncer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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