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Field days to focus on how to grow specialty crops in Wisconsin

Staff Writer |
Growers interested in learning about specialty crop growing techniques in northern Wisconsin are invited to attend two Specialty Crop Field Days hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

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The field days will be held May 24-25, 2017 in the Bayfield area and will feature farm visits to four local farms where specialty crops are grown.

Specialty crops are defined in law as "fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture)."

Although Wisconsin, which produces more than 600 varieties of cheese and dairy products, is well known for its dairy output, the state also produces a wide variety of specialty crops, including cranberries, apples, strawberries and a host of other valuable agricultural commodities.

In fact, Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of cranberries and snap beans for processing, and ranks in the top ten for crops such as potatoes, cherries, maple syrup, carrots, and sweet corn.

Field Days attendees will tour four farms over two days featuring different specialty crops, as follows:

- Wednesday, May 24 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.), Blue Vista Farms, organic blueberries; Erickson's Orchard, apples and pears;

- Thursday, May 25 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.), Seven Ponds Winery, hazelnuts and grapes; Rocky Acres Farm, strawberries.

Registration ($25 for one day; $50 for both days) includes lunch, morning and afternoon snacks, a resources bundle and farms tours.

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