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Southwest Purdue Ag Center High Tunnel Tour Date: June 13, 2018 7:00-9:00 pm Eastern Time Location: Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center, 4369 North Purdue Road, Vincennes, IN, 47591 The SWPAC high tunnel tour will be held on the evening of June 13, 2018. Attendees will have the opportunity to see a wide range of research projects being conducted in high tunnels at SWPAC. Topics that will be discussed include: Grafting cucumbers for season extension; Seedless cucumber and summer squash variety evaluations in a high tunnel; Different pruning and trellising systems for growing cucumber, tomato and pepper in a high tunnel; Grafting tomatoes for improved yield; Cucumber beetle management; Annual plasticultural strawberry production with an innovative low tunnel system. Registration will begin at 6:30 pm. The tour is free, to register please call (812) 886-0198, for more information please contact Wenjing Guan (guan40@purdue.edu). This event is sponsored by North-Central Sustainable Agriculture Research[Read More…]


Renew now! Vegetable Crops Hotline (VCH), is Purdue Extension’s newsletter for people in the business of growing vegetables. We have fifteen issues throughout the 2018 growing season. The first two issues of the year are being 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 form attached to this issue. Your subscription year may be found on the bottom right of the envelope your copy of the hotline was mailed in. If your envelope says 2017, this will be your last issue unless you renew. If you receive notification of a new issue through email, you will continue to receive notice of the newsletters being published. 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[Read More…]


The USDA lab out of Wooster, Ohio is interested in surveying Indiana sweet corn for virus. They are especially interested in sweet corn near johnsongrass, but other fields are ok too. If you are interested, please let me know or contact Mark Jones, USDA Agronomist,mark.jones@ars.usda.gov, (330) 202-3555 ext. 2837. Your participation would be pretty simple: one time when the corn is 15 to 30 inches tall you would collect ten leaf samples on a field transect and also a sample of any odd looking plants and mail them to the USDA lab for analysis. USDA would mail you a packet with sample bags and instructions and mailing materials. If you are interested, but would rather have someone else collect the samples, I can check with a local county Extension educator to see if they would be interested in collecting the samples. Thanks for considering this!


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Reports of vegetable trials from 2017 are published online in the Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2017.   There are reports of variety trials for green beans, cantaloupe/muskmelon, slicing and pickling cucumbers, ornamental corn, bell peppers in field and high tunnels russet potatoes, pumpkins, spinach in high tunnel, butternut squash in stripped-till rye, sweet corn, fresh market and saladette tomatoes, tomatoes in high tunnels, and watermelon. The trials were conducted in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia. This and previous reports in the series are a good source of information on relative performance of vegetable varieties.      


Slides from presentations at the 2018 Illiana Vegetable Growers Symposium and many of the fresh market vegetable sessions at the 2018 Indiana Hort Congress are available online. Visit https://ag.purdue.edu/hla/fruitveg/Pages/presentations.aspx.


The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2018 described above is a good way to keep up with what fungicides are recommended and their proper use. Last year, I developed a fungicide schedule to help growers schedule when fungicides are applied. These fungicide schedules seemed to be popular, so I have updated the fungicide schedules and made them available again. There are two fungicide schedules- one for cantaloupe and watermelons and a second for pumpkins. You can find the schedules at this URL: https://ag.purdue.edu/arge/swpap/Pages/SWPAPPresentationFiles.aspx. Or call (812) 886-0198.    


Figure 3. With damping off, multiple factors usually occur to cause seedling death, both before and after germination. These factors include improper watering, poor water quality, poor seed health (e.g., old seeds, improperly stored seed), or cool temperatures all impact seedling germination, emergence, and growth.

This is the time of year when growers begin planting seed—whether you are child planting a few seeds in Dixie cup for a school project, home tomato growers, or professional horticulturists. Unfortunately, one problem you may share in common is damping-off. Damping-off describes the death of seeds or seedlings and includes all of the following phenomena: Seeds that rot before they germinate, the newly emerging root (radicle) or shoot (cotyledons) of the seedling rots before emergence, or stems of seedlings (cotyledon) are attacked near the soil line, causing the young plants to collapse. Damping-off is caused by several fungi, including Botrytis spp and Rhizoctonia solani, and fungal-like organisms such as Pythium spp. and Phytophthora spp. These microbes are found in practically all soils and pose a large threat to plant propagation. Almost all species of plants can be infected, and these organisms also cause new cuttings to rot, as well.[Read More…]


Figure 3. A Japanese type cucumber grown in a high tunnel.

Cucumbers are produced with very different production systems. The ideal cucumber variety for process pickling production is not the variety used for greenhouse production. Choosing the suitable variety for a specific production system then becomes important. Where do you find recommended cucumber varieties for high tunnel production in seed catalogs? Some of the seed catalogs have a category called Greenhouse or Protected culture. Varieties listed in this category are recommend for greenhouse or high tunnel production. Other seeds catalogs may call this group Parthenocarpic hybrid or European slicer. Cucumbers listed under these names are also suitable for greenhouse or high tunnel production. A few technical words (parthenocarpic, monoecious, gynoecious) occur frequently in the descriptions of high tunnel-grown cucumbers. Understanding their meaning is important in choosing the right varieties. Parthenocarpic means that the plant can set fruit without pollination. Since pollinators are not required in this case, parthenocarpic is a desirable characteristic for cucumbers grown in protected[Read More…]


Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule Training A series of Food Safety Modernization Act produce safety rule training and registration information can be found on the website https://ag.purdue.edu/extension/safeproduce/Pages/FSMA-Training.aspx. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of growers. Modules 1 through 6 align with sections outlined in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.  Module 7 is focused on helping growers develop a written farm food safety plan. The farm food safety plan is not required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, it is included in the curriculum because growers expressed a need for a plan.   eOrganic Webinars eOrganic provides a series of great webinars in organic farming practices and research. The upcoming webinars that might interest vegetable farmers include Conducting on-farm variety trials to manage risk for organic and specialty crop production (March 20 and April 11); Organic tomato foliar pathogen IPM webinar (March 21). Registration and more information about the[Read More…]


The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2018 is available for sale as a hardcopy ($15) or free on-line.  Actually, the Vegetable Guide has been available since last December. The guide may be purchased through the Education Store, at various extension meetings held around the state or from your Purdue University county educator. The website to either view or purchase the Guide, known in Indiana as the ID-56, is mwveguide.org. The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide is a collaboration of 8 states and 9 institutions. Are you thinking that you already have a Vegetable Guide from a past year and wondering if it is worth getting a new one? The article below represents just some of the changes to this year’s Vegetable Guide.  What’s New in 2018? New and Revised Sections For this year’s guide, we created three new tables — Selected Information About Recommended Insecticides (page 54), Herbicides (page[Read More…]


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