Penn State Extension Offers Horticulture Training for Spanish Speakers

A field training for Spanish-speaking workers in the fruit industry will be held Saturday, Nov. 18, at Hollabaugh Orchards in Biglerville, PA. The presenters for this hands-on workshop are Mario Miranda Sazo, Cornell Extension Fruit Specialist, and Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch, Penn State Food Safety, IPM and Water Quality Extension Educator. Weather permitting, most of the program will be in the field. The address for the field training at Hollabaugh Orchards is 545 Carlisle Rd., Biglerville, PA, and lunch will be at the at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center, 290 University Dr., Biglerville, PA.

The program is interactive and will include the following topics:

The science of pruning young, semi-young, and more mature high-density apple plantings:  Benefits and strategies for proper pruning, corrective pruning, minimal pruning, and limb renewal pruning of tall spindle apple trees. Use of an orchard platform and electric pruners will be demonstrated.

Principles of Integrated Fruit Production—a holistic approach to orchard management: Hands-on training on ground cover and weed management, fall clean-up practices to suppress disease spread the following season, vertebrate scouting and management, and practices that favor native pollinators and beneficial insects and mites. This session will qualify for 3 category credits.

Understanding the basics of strict crop load management for high-value apple cultivars: Review of how the number of fruit that remain on a tree directly affects yield, fruit size, the quality of fruit that are harvested, and return bloom. Practical discussions will address hand thinning, fruit distribution, and light penetration/distribution for large-fruited varieties like Honeycrisp and for small-fruited varieties like Gala.

The program and lunch are free but preregistration is required by November 9, 2017, by registering online or contacting Tara Baugher,, or 717-334-6271.