5 articles tagged "Other Specialty Crops".

I am a Northern Michigan native that grew up on a specialty crops farm where I spent many days outdoors playing in the field and helping my family plant and harvest crops. I pursued a bachelor’s in Entomology at Michigan State University and received my degree in 2015. While I was at MSU, I spent three summers working as a field technician at the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center conducting research on chemical and non-chemical techniques to reduce insect pests in sweet and tart cherries, apples, and wine grapes. I then spent a year working as a commercial beekeeper before moving to West Lafayette to pursue a master’s degree in Entomology with Dr. John Couture. My research project focused on the influence of agronomic management practices on hemp-insect interactions. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with hemp over the last two years and I am excited that I was given the[Read More…]

Figure 1. Strawberries grown inside a high tunnel at Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center. Photo was taken on April 16 2016.

We are familiar with strawberries grown as a perennial crop in Indiana. Bare root strawberry plants are set in the spring. Fruit is first harvested in the second year and the planting is renovated annually. Using this system, strawberry seasons last for three to four weeks from middle May through June. The traditional system has been replaced with an annual plasticulture system in the southern United States ever since the 1980s. In the annual plasticulture system, strawberry plugs (rooted runner tips) are transplanted in plastic covered beds in late summer or fall. Fruit are harvested in spring in the next year. After the fruiting season, the plants are removed. The annual plasticulture system is favored in the south because it has a longer harvest period and produces strawberries with better quality. In Indiana, trials established to test the annual plasticulture system had limited success because of short fall season and harsh[Read More…]

Boiler Hops Logo

​Burrs and Cones. Both of the trellises in the Boiler Hopyard have begun flowering and coning. The primary shoots were pruned at the top of the net on the dwarf trellis in order to promote lateral growth. The pruning took place on May 19 and again on May 28. The bines on the dwarf trellis have been flourishing with flowers and now cones. Out of the six cultivars in the hopyard, Galena was the first to reach the top of the dwarf trellis and begin flowering. The tall trellis began flowering in early June along with the dwarf trellis, but after adding the last dose of nitrogen the plants in the tall trellis began putting on more vegetative growth, including lateral branches. This appeared to delay flowering and allowed for more lateral growth development. The plants in the tall trellis are now in full bloom and appear to be several[Read More…]

​The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is officially launching the Indiana Grown Initiative on July 7, 2015. This free marketing program will enable all Indiana agricultural and food products to be labeled and marketed with an Indiana brand. It is a very comprehensive program that will include many market channels and farm products. This program has immense potential to create new local and regional market channels for Indiana agricultural and food businesses through three initiatives: 1) Educate consumers on the importance of buying Indiana Grown products; 2) Increase networking and sales opportunities for Indiana farmers; and 3) Expand support for Indiana processors in their effort to process more Indiana Grown products. There are four categories for the program: 100% Indiana – Must be grown and/or all ingredients from Indiana Prepared in Indiana – Ingredients can be sourced elsewhere, but 100% of production is in Indiana Partner – Company or institution[Read More…]

Shoots infected with downy mildew.

​Purdue University’s Boiler Hop Yard has started its second growing season with the hopes of providing Indiana growers with science-based recommendations for hop production in the Midwest. With summer rapidly approaching, hop bines are now climbing over 10 feet high in portions of Indiana, and the Boiler Hop Yard is no exception. Downy Mildew. One of the biggest threats to Indiana hop production is downy mildew. Downy mildew (Pseudopernospora humuli) can cause hop quality to depreciate, yield to be stunted, and sometimes even plant death. Downy mildew was identified in the Boiler Hop Yard in mid-April this year, and is present in other Indiana hop farms as well. Downy mildew overwinters in the crown of the hop plant, and appears in the early spring on newly emerged primary basal or aerial spikes as a sidearm (Figure 1). These spikes have irregular growth patterns and are undesirable in hop production. The[Read More…]

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