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NMSU to host 2012 National Allium Research Conference

New Mexico State University will host the 2012 National Allium Research Conference Dec. 12-13 at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. The biennial conference focuses on onions, and related crops, and is an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the field.

Participants at an onion field day at NMSU's Leyendecker Plant Science Center listen to a presentation by Chris Cramer, director of NMSU's onion breeding program. (NMSU photo by Stephanie Sweet.)

"The National Allium Research Conference is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear onion experts from around the world share their expertise here in Las Cruces," said Chris Cramer, a professor in NMSU's Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences and director of NMSU's onion breeding program. "Local growers and industry representatives will have the chance to interact with these scientists, including breeders who developed the onion varieties being grown in New Mexico."

Conference presentations will encompass breeding and genetics, pest and disease management, postharvest handling and cultural practices of onions and related plants.

"One particular pest, onion thrips, are the predominant insect affecting our onion crops, and local researchers continue to work on management strategies," said Stephanie Walker, an assistant professor in NMSU's Department of Extension Plant Sciences. "Thrips are also a challenge worldwide. Attendees can hear management strategies for thrips used in other onion growing areas."

The first day of the conference, Dec. 12, will focus on production and management topics to maximize onion yield and quality. The second day will focus on pests, diseases and breeding topics.

Conference registration is $300 for general admission and $200 for graduate student admission. A one-day registration fee of $150 will be offered for individuals who only wish to attend one day of the conference.

For more information visit http://aces.nmsu.edu/narc2012/.