36 articles tagged "Crop Culture".

Every year since 1980, we have conducted watermelon and cantaloupe variety trials at Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center. In 2016, our variety trials include 44 standard seedless watermelons, 12 cantaloupes, 4 mini-sized seedless watermelons, and 5 seeded watermelon varieties. Seeds have already been planted in the greenhouses and our target date for transplanting in the field will be the week of May 9th. The fruit will become ripe around the middle of July. If you are interested in observing how each variety performs during the season, don’t hesitate to come to visit us and witness the plots first hand. We will continue to present the results of our variety trials, as in the past, at the annual meeting held at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center in late November or early December but don’t miss the opportunity to visualize them during the growing season. In the winter meeting, we will discuss yield[Read More…]


Lettuce is grown in channels using the Nutrient Film Technique

Travelling through Indiana last summer, I realized that many growers plant their crops in soil inside their high tunnels or greenhouses. Soilless production offers different benefits and challenges. This is the first article in a series focusing on soilless crop production in high tunnels and greenhouses. Today we are discussing Hydroponics. What is Hydroponics?  The word hydroponics technically means ‘working water’, derived from the Latin words “hydro” meaning water and “ponos” meaning labor. Hydroponics is a method to grow plants using a mineral nutrient solution, in water and without soil. Two types of hydroponics are commonly found: a) solution culture, and b) medium culture. Solution culture types include continuous flow solution culture (Nutrient Film Technique) and Aeroponics. Medium culture types include ebb and flow sub-irrigation, run to waste, deep water culture and passive sub-irrigation systems. History.  The first research published on the production of spearmint in water was conducted by[Read More…]


Tomatoes grown in controlled environment are exposed to conditions that are different from their original habitats. As a result, varieties that are not specifically bred for greenhouse production may respond to the controlled environment with abnormal symptoms. One group of the symptoms is called edema. Bumps, galls or blisters develop on tomato leaves, petioles or stems (Figure 1). In severe conditions, it causes leaf curling, distortion and abscission (Figure 2). A couple of factors including high humidity, excessive water in the soil, air pollution, and low light condition could cause the symptom. Tomato varieties respond differently in susceptibility to the physiological disorder, and the primary contributing factors can also be different among tomato varieties. The most severe case of edema that we have observed so far is on tomato rootstocks including ‘Maxifort’. This is not surprising as most of the commercial tomato rootstocks are hybrid of wild tomatoes Lycopersicon esculentum[Read More…]


​Crop production, decomposition of organic matter, using ammonium-producing nitrogen fertilizers, and rainfall all lower soil pH. To maintain soil pH in the optimal range (6.5 to 6.8) for vegetable production, periodic application of lime is needed. The primary form of agricultural lime is calcium carbonate (CaCO3). It is the carbonate (CO3^2-) part that brings up soil pH. Whenever lime is applied, a large amount of calcium is also added to the soil. The good news is that calcium is an essential plant nutrient. Several vegetable problems that we are familiar with are caused by calcium deficiency for example, blossom end rot of tomatoes and peppers, and tip burn of cabbages. However, it should be noted that excess calcium might interfere with plant available magnesium and potassium. Therefore, it is always better to keep a balance of those nutrients. Some lime products are specified as dolomitic lime. Dolomitic lime is common[Read More…]


Vegetables such as this watermelon may become sunburned if lack of foliage cover exposes the fruit to excess sun and heat. (Photo by Dan Egel)

​Loss of foliage due to poor growing conditions or disease can cause fruit to be exposed to the sun. Hot temperatures and direct sunlight can lead to areas of the fruit that appear bleached or sunburned. Sunburned fruit may not be marketable. To reduce the probability sunburned fruit, every effort should be made to maintain foliage throughout the season. Early wet weather encouraged foliar disease and recent hot, dry weather may have restricted foliar development. Orienting vegetable plantings to minimize damage from the prevailing winds and providing windbreaks such as strips of rye or wheat may help to reduce sunburn. Several products are available that are labeled for use as a preventive for sunburn. These products may be broken into two groups: kaolin (clay) based products and calcium carbonated based products. Kaolin based products include Surround®. Some Surround® products are labeled for use as sunburn protection, while others are not. For example,[Read More…]


Sweet corn ready for sampling.

​Pinney Purdue Vegetable Field Day and Sweet Corn Sampler. Thursday, August 13, 2015. 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. CDT. Pinney Purdue Ag Center, 11402 S. County Line Rd., Wanatah, IN. Plot tours include soil health management and disease suppressive soils, tomatoes and peppers in high tunnels, and sweet corn varieties. To register, contact Lori Jolly-Brown, ljollybr@purdue.edu, or 765-494-1296.


​Growers may be wondering whether to replant pumpkin fields where the stand is uneven due to excess moisture. Potential yield of the replants is one thing it would be good to know. We have data on yield of pumpkins direct-seeded or transplanted in mid-July in northern Indiana. The trials were no-till planted into a harvested wheat field. Pumpkins were harvested in mid to late October. Yield of direct-seeded pumpkins ranged from 0 to 0.6 tons per acre for 8 varieties in 2004, and from 2.6 to 6.4 tons per acre for 5 varieties in 2005. Yield of transplanted pumpkins ranged from 2 to 8 tons per acre for 8 varieties in 2004 and from 4.4 to 9 tons per acre for 5 varieties in 2005. For comparison, typical yields at this site for an early- to mid-June planting date with conventional tillage range from 10 to 25 tons per acre.[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…]


​High rainfall amounts lead to loss of nitrogen from the soil. Sometimes the loss is great enough that a crop will benefit from additional nitrogen application. This article will describe how nitrogen is lost and factors to consider in deciding whether to apply extra nitrogen. There are two main ways nitrogen is lost from wet soils. Nitrogen is lost to the air by denitrification. Denitrification occurs in saturated soils when there is little oxygen in the soil. In the denitrification process, nitrate is broken down by bacteria to form oxygen and volatile nitrogen compounds including nitrous oxide and nitrogen gas. These volatile compounds move into the air and nitrogen is lost from the soil. Denitrification is common on heavier soils. In Indiana, saturated soils lose 4% to 5% of their nitrate nitrogen for each day they are saturated. Nitrogen is lost below the root zone of the crop by leaching.[Read More…]


Seven day observed precipitation (in.) ending June 23

​Much of the state has seen excessive rains in recent weeks (Fig. 1). When soils are saturated vegetable crops suffer. This article, slightly revised from its original publication date in July 2003, describes and explains problems that are likely to occur.   Vegetable crops become stressed in waterlogged soils. Aboveground wilting, yellowing and death of leaves, and epinasty, or downward curling of leaves and stems are all responses to what is happening to roots. If we had a window into the soil we would see roots stop growing and root tips die due to lack of oxygen. Wilting occurs because roots in waterlogged soil do not conduct water as well and lack of new root growth limits water uptake, while the aboveground portion of the plant may continue to grow for a time even after the root has stopped. The root system just cannot supply water fast enough to prevent wilting.[Read More…]


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