The 17th annual San Luis Valley Potato-Grain Conference and Trade Fair will be held Feb. 8, 9 and 10, at Ski Hi Park, in Monte Vista.

Potato production will have a special emphasis at this year's conference; resulting in two full days for potato information.

Several out-of-state visitors will be in town for Regional Potato Development meetings. These meetings include the Western Regional Coordinating Committee and the Tri-State and Southwest Technical Committees. Those invited speakers include Steve Love (Idaho), Dennis Corsini (Idaho), Creighton Miller (Texas), David Hammond (Nature Mark), Ron Voss (California) and Dan Hane (Oregon).

A special invited speaker this year is Walt Stevenson (Wisconsin), discussing control of late blight. He will give presentations on "How You Apply a Fungicide," plus another one of "New tools in the Disease Management Toolbox."

Another special invited speaker is Jim Davis of Idaho. He will speak on "Green Manures to Enhance Potato Production." Green manure crops, such as sudan grass, rapeseed and mustards, have been shown to reduce certain potato pests.

Many of the topics concerning potatoes involve control of potato diseases. These potato diseases include: PVY, late blight, pink rot and disease resistance. Other potato topics include: applying fungicides, new chemicals, cultivar development, phosphorus nutrition, Norkotah line selection management and potato enterprise budgets.

Some topics not pertaining exclusively to potatoes include: herbicides for small grains, rotations, green manure crops, future water quality considerations and water management data and issues.

This should be a very informational conference for potato and grain growers. The newest research-based information will be available from several states. Growers need to have all the best information, in order to make important decisions regarding their farm.

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