496 articles

Tomato and pepper growers should be aware of potential for earworm ( also called fruitworm) damage, especially if these crops are surrounded by cornfields that are drying down are no longer attractive for egg laying. Please check this article for more information.  



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…]


On April 17, 2018, Purdue University and Indiana University Bloomington teamed up to present a webinar about using high tunnels in Indiana. The recording is now available on the Purdue Extension Youtube channel at https://youtu.be/dpm4t4Ws5nQ. The 95-minute webinar introduces the upcoming High Tunnel Handbook for Indiana growers and summarizes key findings and recommendations from a recent study about high tunnel use in Indiana. Key points about winter production from a SARE partnership project wrap up the session.


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…]


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Small Farm Education Field Day Date: Aug. 30, 2018 Location: Purdue Daniel Turf Center (1340 Cherry Lane, West Lafayette, IN 47907) and Purdue Student Farm (1491 Cherry Lane, West Lafayette, IN 47906) Registration is $10, register at https://www.cvent.com/d/hgqx6g  Greenhouse and Indoor Hydroponics Workshop Date: Sept. 5, 2018 Location: 625 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907 The work shop is free. Register at https://tinyurl.com/yaxd4k2z 2018 Pumpkin Field Day Date: Sept. 6, 2018 starting at 10:00 am Location: University of Illinois Extension Ewing Demonstration Center. 16132 N. Ewing Rd; Ewing, IL 62836 (Located 20 minutes south of Mt. Vernon, IL) The field day is free. Please register by calling (618) 687-1727 or online at https://go.illinois.edu/pumpkinday2018 by Aug. 31, 2018. Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day Date: Sept. 26, 9:30 -4:00 Location: PrairiErth Farm, 2073 2000 Ave, Atlanta, IL 61723 Registration is $20, register online at www.thelandconnection.org/farmers


Cercospora leaf mold symptoms on the upper leaf surface. Note distinct chlorotic lesions.

In the fall of 2015, I wrote an article for the Hotline about Cercospora leaf mold of tomato since this disease had been observed twice in the 2015 season. I wrote that Cercospora leaf mold was normally a subtropical disease. There have been several observations of Cercospora leaf mold on tomato in Indiana this year. I’m still not certain of the importance of this disease, but this article will compare Cercospora leaf mold and leaf mold of tomato. Leaf mold of tomato is caused by Passalora fulva and is common in Indiana, especially in high tunnels where the high relative humidity favors this disease. Cercospora leaf mold is caused by Pseudocercospora fuligena and is more common in the warm, humid climate of the tropics or subtropics than in the Midwest. Both diseases cause chlorotic (yellow) lesions which are visible on the upper side of the leaf. The chlorotic area caused by[Read More…]


Several caterpillars in the ear can be very similar in appearance and habits, so identification to species of some of the worms in ears can be tricky. Note that, in general, you cannot use overall body color or damage for identification. Some identification tips, though not foolproof, appear below for the corn earworm, western bean cutworm, fall armyworm and European corn borer. We suggest you inspect cornfields soon before the larvae leave the ear and pupate.   This article was previously published in the Purdue Extension Pest & Crop Newsletter.


Lesions of Cercospora blight of asparagus are gray to tan and may have red borders.

This disease was confirmed in Indiana recently. Cercospora blight initially causes small, oval, gray to tan lesions with red borders (Figure 1). If a 10X hand lens is used, dark flecks within the lesions may be observed; these flecks are where the spores of the causal fungus are produced. Severe infections may cause entire ferns to turn yellow or brown. Cercospora blight may cause reduced vigor and yield of spears the next spring. The causal fungus overwinters on fern residues left on the soil. When weather in the late spring or summer becomes favorable, spores on this debris may cause disease on the ferns. High humidity in the fern canopy of 95% or higher and average temperatures of 77 to 86°F favor infection. Splashing water from rain or irrigation is important in spread of this disease. Any practice that minimizes fern debris will help to lessen the impact of Cercospora[Read More…]


Figure 1. A server case of leaf burn under high temperatures.

Strawberries are primarily grown in the mattered row system in Indiana, in which bare-root strawberry plants are set in the spring, fruit is first harvested in the second year and plantings are renovated each year for a few seasons. Growers in southern Indiana have expressed interest in growing strawberries in the annual plasticultural system. With this annual system, plants are set in the fall and harvested in the spring of the following year. Plantings are not normally carried over a second year. Although the annual plasticultural system is very popular in the southern states, its usage is limited in Indiana mainly because our short fall weather conditions pose a challenge for strawberry plants to develop enough branch crowns, which allows them to achieve the optimal yield in the following spring. In the past two years, we have been testing the annual strawberry production system with additional protection from high tunnels[Read More…]


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