Greenhouse tomato growers and people with an interest in the business should mark their calendars for the 16th annual greenhouse tomato short course to be held in Jackson, Miss., on Feb. 28 and March 1.

Mississippi is home to 130 growers who produce a $6.5 million greenhouse tomato crop annually. In 2005, the short course attracted more than 168 participants from 26 states.

Rick Snyder, Mississippi State University professor and vegetable specialist in Crystal Springs, Miss., organized the short course.

“Growers cannot find this much information about greenhouse tomatoes in any other short course or workshop in the country,” Snyder said.

The 2006 Greenhouse Tomato Short Course will be held in the Sparkman Auditorium at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum at 1150 Lakeland Drive, Jackson, Miss. It is sponsored by the MSU Extension Service and the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, Miss.

Sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. both days.

The first day will provide an overview of greenhouse tomato production, new grower information, plant nutrition, organic production, business costs and marketing information. The second day will cover flavor issues, micronutrients, water quality, disease and insect prevention, more marketing tips, success stories and other topics.

Advance registration is $100 and must be received by Feb. 20. This fee includes meals, coffee breaks, refreshments, Extension bulletins and handouts.

Registration at the door is $125. Those who pre-register will receive a Greenhouse Tomato Short Course all-cotton cap.

For more information, contact Mississippi county Extension offices, e-mail ricks@ra.msstate.edu or visit http://www.greenhousetomatosc.com. The complete agenda, registration materials, a map and suggested hotels are available online.