409 articles

On January 1, products containing >6.5% dicamba and an agriculture use label are now restricted use pesticides. In order to purchase these herbicides, buyers must carry a private or commercial pesticide applicator license. While dicamba herbicides have been on the market for over 50 years to control broadleaf weeds, the recent development of dicamba resistant soybeans has given soybean producers a new post-emergent option for the management of herbicide resistant weeds. The new soybeans are XtendiMax® soybeans and FeXapan®, XtendiMax®, or Engenia® herbicides, all dicamba-based products can be sprayed on them. Those producers who plan to apply any of the three soybean dicamba products MUST attend a training before any of these products are applied. This is a requirement mandated by the EPA approved label. These trainings cover basic drift reduction techniques, as well as label requirements. One requirement is before application of a soybean dicamba product; producers must visit[Read More…]


If you have not joined this free marketing and network program for growers, buyers and food producers in Indiana, take a moment to join today! Visit www.indianagrown.org to submit your Member application. Indiana Grown has received recognition and funding from the State Legislature to strengthen our local and regional food networks. Once you join, you have access to the excellent team at the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to help you make market connections and sales. Heather Tallman, the membership developer is an incredible asset to the program and serves as a major connector for growers and buyers. She talks regularly with buyers and can connect them with members who have known crops available. Indiana Grown also offers their members events and a newsletter to help you make market connections year-round. Once you develop your online profile, you can update your information on the ‘News’ blog of the website. That[Read More…]


Welcome to a new year of the Vegetable Crops Hotline (VCH), Purdue Extension’s newsletter for people in the business of growing vegetables. As usual, we will have fifteen issues throughout the 2018 growing season. The first issue of the year is sent to all who subscribed to VCH via US-mail in 2017 as well as new subscribers for 2018. To continue receiving future copies through US-mail, renew your Hotline subscription using the forms attached  to this issue. Note that we provide an up-to three years’ subscription of VCH with a reduced price. If you receive the issue through email, you will continue to receive the newsletters on the issue dates. In addition, you will receive emails if there are articles or announcements that need your immediate attention. These articles will be posted under Hot Topics and be included in the next issue. All the previous articles published in VCH are available on the website, and you will find additional articles under Veggie Extras. Frequently[Read More…]


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On February 27-28, the Produce Safety Alliance will hold a Water Summit near Cincinnati, OH. The purpose of the summit is to bring together growers, industry, academe, and FDA to discuss the agricultural water provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The summit’s format is similar to PSA’s previously hosted soil summits and includes presentations from FDA, as well as breakout sessions, where participants discuss various aspects of the ag water provisions. Results of breakout groups discussions will be summarized and forwarded to FDA. Extension will be hosting two remote sites in Indiana where attendees can participate in the water summit through distance technology. Presentations will be shown live as they are given at the main site. Additionally, attendees at the remote sites will have the same opportunities to participate in breakout groups and have results of their discussion forwarded to FDA. The remote sites will[Read More…]


A grafted tomato plant grown in a high tunnel

Awareness of tomato grafting has increased tremendously in the past years. Some growers fall in love with this technology and apply it to every tomato they grow. While others find this technology is not cost effective. The growers who have successfully adapted this technology are often small-scale, high tunnel or greenhouse growers who have mastered the grafting technique. They graft tomatoes by themselves and often can achieve a high survival rate. In this case, the added cost for grafted plants is mainly the cost of rootstock seeds, which is roughly 30-50 centers per plant. A small amount of yield increase could easily compensate for the added cost. This is particularly true for tomatoes grown in high tunnels that often sell at a higher price. In situations that farmers buy grafted plants, the cost rangs from $1 to $3 per plant. Farmers would expect a high percentage of yield increase to compensate for[Read More…]


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2018 Indiana Small Farm Conference Date: March 1-3 Location: Hendricks County Fairgrounds, Danville, Indiana The 2018 conference in Danville, Indiana begins with a series of daylong workshops on March 1. Topics include on-farm fresh produce food safety, regenerative farming with livestock and agroforestry, farm viability and financial management, and a four season farm tour. Breakout sessions on March 2-3 will cover topics ranging from vegetable and livestock production to farm management and marketing. Participants will have an opportunity to network with Extension educators, expert speakers, other farmers and vendors. The complete list of speakers will continue to be updated as presenters become finalized. The Small Farm Trade Show takes place on March 2-3 where more than 50 vendors will showcase their products and services. The Small Farm Poster Session on March 3 will feature research and programs on local foods, diversified agriculture, and small farm production and education. Detailed information about 2018 Indiana Small Farm Conference is available[Read More…]


Figure 1: Field study at Meigs Horticulture Facility

While Indiana remains a key player in the domestic cantaloupe market, commercial field production is limited to a few counties. The total acreage planted in Indiana peaked in 1997 at 3,600 acres with a total production of 455,000 cwt and an average income of $16 per cwt (USDA ESMIS, 2015). Indiana cantaloupe growers have lost a significant share of the melon market since the 2011 and 2012 food borne illness outbreaks. Compared to 2011, the acreage planted and production in 2016 decreased by 900 acres (33%) and 257,000 cwt (45%), respectively. At $23 per cwt the 2016 farm value of production was $7,245 million, $35,000 lower than in 1997. Increased competition from neighboring states, the higher production risk due to food safety related issues, the limited selection of melon types and technologies that can be used to increase production and product quality has led to this tremendous decrease in planted[Read More…]


Figure 1. Watermelon variety trial at Southwest Purdue Ag Center.

Seedless watermelon variety trials have been conducted at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center in Vincennes, IN for more than 20 years. In 2017, we evaluated the performance of 37 standard size seedless watermelon varieties and 4 mini watermelon varieties. This article introduces the top performing varieties in our trial in 2017. Standard size seedless watermelons Red Amber. This is a new variety. It had the highest yield among 37 varieties in 2017. Rind pattern of the variety is a medium green background with a medium dark crimson stripe. Average fruit weight in our trial was 16 lb. Red Amber had relatively firmer flesh compared with other varieties. 9651 and 9601. Both 9651 and 9601 are sugar baby type watermelons that have solid green rinds. Fruit shape is round to oval. Both varieties had a high yield in 2017, especially 9651. Average fruit size of 9651 was 16 lb and 9601[Read More…]


This is the final issue of the Vegetable Crops Hotline (VCH) for 2017. Now is the time for subscribers who receive a paper copy in the mail to renew. A renewal form is included with this issue. Note that we provide an up-to three years’ subscription of VCH with a reduced price. You can also sign-up for Veggie Texts with the same form. Email subscribers will remain on the subscription list for VCH as long as the email address works. Email subscribers will need to send us an email or call us to sign-up for Veggie Texts. An Indiana Vegetable Grower Association (IVGA) membership form is included here too. IVGA membership no longer automatically includes the VCH subscription. You need to indicate you would like to subscribe the VCH on the membership form. Thank you very much for your support of VCH. If you have any suggestions, ideas, comments, please do not hesitate to[Read More…]


he round lesions on this watermelon are caused by Phytophthora blight. Note that the Phytophtora blight fungus can be seen sporulating on the lesion under moist conditions.

This disease was a serious problem in much of the state this past summer.  As a result, I have had many questions about managing this disease.  The questions I have been asked have ranged from what do I spray to how does this disease work? Therefore, I have written an article about the symptoms, biology and management of Phytophthora blight. I will concentrate on Phytophthora blight of cucurbits, but this disease is also a very serious problem on peppers. In the following article, I will outline some of the information I think it is important to know about this important disease. Phytophthora blight-biology Phytophthora blight is caused by a fungus-like organism known as Phytophthora capsici. Even when I was in graduate school in the 1980’s, my professors told us that we would discuss Phytophthora and related organisms in our fungus taxonomy class even though these organisms are more closely related to brown[Read More…]


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