166 articles tagged "Vegetable Crops - General".

Beginning in August, Purdue Extension will offer produce food safety trainings throughout Indiana. The trainings utilize the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) training curriculum and will be offered at multiple locations across the state. For produce farms that are covered under the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, at least one manager or responsible person is required to receive food safety training equivalent to FDA’s standardized curriculum. Completion of a PSA grower training is one way to meet that requirement. For growers who are not covered by the Produce Safety Rule, the trainings are an excellent introduction to produce food safety and will be useful to those who are beginning to develop a food safety program on their farm, or who want to learn more about this topic. There are currently 14 confirmed offerings across the state. Classes are from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm local time. Cost is $100.[Read More…]


The On Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is now available and being offered to Indiana produce growers. The OFRR is a VOLUNTARY assessment of your farm’s readiness to be in compliance with the Produce Safety Rule. This is not an audit or inspection, but a chance for you to have a team of reviewers visit your farm to assess how well your food safety program lines up with the requirements set forth in the Produce Safety Rule. Once a review is requested, a team consisting of individuals from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), and Purdue Extension will visit your farm. The review takes approximately two hours. During that time, the team will ask questions and tour your farm in order to: Determine your coverage under the Produce Safety Rule Assess your farm’s current state of readiness for ISDH inspections, which will begin[Read More…]


Many years ago, I was told that to successfully use fungicides on vegetables, one must use high spray pressures and hollow cone nozzles. However, I had trouble finding any research on this topic, just rumors. So, I did my own research. Dennis Nowaskie, Superintendent at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center (SWPAC) built a single row sprayer that could be used to vary nozzle types between flat fans and hollow cones and spray pressures from 30 to 150 PSI. We used the sprayer to conduct experiments on Alternaria leaf blight of cantaloupe during three years of field tests. The fungicide we used to try to manage this disease was the contact product chlorothalonil (trade names include Agronil®, Bravo®, Echo® and Terranil®). Phillip Harmon, now a professor at the University of Florida, was my co-author on this paper. Try as we might, we could not find any statistical differences in disease severity[Read More…]


Since there is an article about the application of insecticides in this issue, below I list 10 rules that will help vegetable growers apply fungicides effectively and safely. Apply fungicides prior to the development of disease. Although many fungicides have systemic (“kick back”) action they will not completely eradicate diseases after they have started. And by the time a single disease lesion is observed in the field, many more lesions too small to observe are already working at your crop. Most systemic fungicides move less than an inch toward the tip of the plant or may just move from the upper to the lower side of the leaf. Use shorter spray intervals during weather conducive to plant disease. Each plant disease has its own “personality” and thus prefers different weather. However, most plant diseases require leaf wetness. Therefore, during periods of rain and heavy dews, more frequent fungicide applications are[Read More…]


It’s not uncommon for us to get calls from growers who are expressing concern about a particular insecticide product that is not working as well as the growers would like. Often, growers will suggest that Product X is no good or that the target insect has now developed resistance to that particular insecticide. Before we jump to conclusions, we need to consider a number of possible causes for poor performance by an insecticide. Here are some questions to consider if you are not getting the control you would like. Are you using the right product? Every fall, a group of vegetable entomologists from throughout the Midwest thoroughly revise the insecticide recommendations in the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (ID56). The products we list in the guide are the ones that we believe work for a particular pest, based either on research trials or through our experience with growers. That’s why we[Read More…]


Figure 1. Top left: old plastic viewed from inside High Tunnel 1. Top right: old plastic as it is being removed. Bottom left: old plastic on left and new plastic on right over a piece of lined paper. Bottom right: High Tunnel 1 with new plastic covering.

Have you ever wondered how much difference new plastic would make in terms of light getting to crops in a high tunnel? We replaced 6-year-old plastic on High Tunnel 1 at Pinney Purdue Ag Center last week. Figure 1 below shows the high tunnel before and after recovering, and pieces of the old and new plastic. We had a sensor measuring PAR (photosynthetically active radiation, light available for plant use in photosynthesis) in the structure, and a similar sensor in High Tunnel 2, which had new plastic in Dec., 2017. The Ag Center also has an automated weather station that measures solar radiation. Here is what these sensors showed us (Figure 1). Figure 2 shows the PAR readings throughout the day in the two high tunnels and solar radiation outside. High Tunnel 1 had the 6-year-old plastic. The plastic was removed on July 9. On July 7 and 8, before[Read More…]


Does your farm often have excess produce in your growing period? We would love to connect our volunteers to come and glean that produce and put it on a plate of someone who needs this fresh food! Gleaning America’s Fields – Feeding America’s Hungry. We do it simply, effectively, and efficiently. Since 1983, Society of St. Andrew has saved fresh, nutritious produce from America’s farms – produce that otherwise go to waste – and delivered it to hunger-relief agencies. In January 2018, Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) opened a new office in Indiana. The office is based in Indianapolis but the work is throughout the state. SoSA has gleaned here in the past, but will now make a significantly larger impact across the Hoosier State. In the first year, we expect to glean about one million pounds of produce from Indiana farm fields. All of this gleaned food will be[Read More…]


Figure 1. Blossom end rot of tomato.

We recently received several calls reporting blossom end rot of tomatoes (Figure 1). Although blossom end rot is caused by deficient supply of calcium to the developing fruit. The occurrence of this physiological disorder often relates to inconsistent supply of water. As a general rule, vegetables require 1-1.5 acre-inches of water per week. Since there is no rain in high tunnels, all the required water should be applied through irrigation. How does one determine if enough water has been applied to vegetables? This article provides some ideas. The first information needed is the irrigated area. For example, tomatoes are growing in a 30 × 96 high tunnel with 6 beds that are about 4 feet wide. Then the irrigated area is about 2,304 square feet (6 × 4 × 96 = 2,304). An acre has 43,560 square feet. So the irrigated area is roughly 2,304 / 43,560 = 0.05 acre.[Read More…]




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