Okanagan orchardists will be showcasing their techniques to the world in February, when the annual IFTA conference is held in Kelowna.
The International Fruit Tree Association is the world body for orchardists growing compact fruit trees. The annual conference brings growers and experts from around the world. Last year, the IFTA featured speakers from throughout Europe, North America, and South America.
IFTA was established in 1958 "to promote an understanding of the nature and use of dwarf fruit trees through research, education and dissemination of information." The goal of the association is to advance the art of producing intensive yield orchard systems and technologies.
The 2014 schedule has not yet been released, but will be posted soon at www.ifruittree.org. The annual conference features many distinguished speakers sharing expertise on a variety of topics, including horticultural economics; rootstocks, varieties, and systems for apples, pears, and cherries; organic tree fruit production; new research; and current and emerging varieties from around the world.
Because the membership is so international, the conference is in a different country every year. Last year’s conference was held in Boston, while the 2012 event was staged in Santiago, Chile.
The 56th Annual Conference & Intensive Workshop will be held February 22-26, 2014, at the Delta Grand Hotel in downtown Kelowna.
There will be intensive, hands on workshops on site, as well as field tours to orchards in the Okanagan Valley.