From better ways to cultivate melons and growing a new cherry tomato in greenhouses, to conducting on-farm trials and controlling for diseases on farms, scientists with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station will discuss their research and best farming practices at the upcoming New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference.
The conference will be held in Manchester Dec. 15 to 17, 2015. For more information, visit

At UNH, Prof. Iago Hale is growing nearly the entire USDA collection of cold-hardy kiwis, nearly 200 accessions, in order to characterize the collection and identify parent plants for his breeding program. Credit: UNH
Iago Hale, a plant breeder and assistant professor of specialty crop improvement at UNH’s College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, will discuss “Analyzing the Results of On-Farm Trials.” Hale, a researcher with the experiment station, currently is conducting an expansive trial at UNH’s Woodman Horticultural Research Farm that involves characterizing and evaluating, for the first time, the entire North American collection of cold-hardy kiwis, or kiwiberries. With nearly 200 accessions in the collection, Hale aims to identify promising varieties for the region and parent plants for new variety development.
J. Brent Loy, emeritus professor of plant genetics and a researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, will discuss “Use of Interspecific Hybrids in Squash for Fresh Market, Processing, & Grafting Rootstocks for Melons.” Loy has found that grafting melons onto the rootstocks of hybrid squash substantially increases the production of melons, a potential source of increased revenue for New England farmers. His experiment station-funded work has resulted in more than 50 new varieties of tomato, squash, pumpkins, gourds, and melons sold in seed catalogs throughout the world.
Becky Sideman, a researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and extension professor of sustainable horticulture production, will discuss “Some Interesting Discoveries Growing Brussels Sprouts,” “Designing an On-Farm Trial, “Diseases Around the Farm & Control Options,” and “Greenhouse Tomatoes.” Sideman recently developed a new cherry tomato designed to be grown in hanging baskets in greenhouses. Rambling Rose provides a new attractive pink fruit color not yet available in cherry tomatoes suitable for hanging basket production. She also recently completed a study on growing Brussels sprouts in Northern New England.

Rambling Rose provides a new attractive pink fruit color not yet available in cherry tomatoes suitable for hanging basket production. Credit: UNH
Founded in 1887, the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture is UNH’s original research center and an elemental component of New Hampshire's land-grant university heritage and mission. We steward federal and state funding, including support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to provide unbiased and objective research concerning diverse aspects of sustainable agriculture and foods, aquaculture, forest management, and related wildlife, natural resources and rural community topics. We maintain the Woodman and Kingman agronomy and horticultural farms, the Macfarlane Greenhouses, the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, and the Organic Dairy Research Farm. Additional properties also provide forage, forests and woodlands in direct support to research, teaching, and outreach.
For more information, visit