401 articles

​Good Agricultural Practices A to Z Workshops. Workshops are funded by Purdue, as part of AgSEED Crossroads funding to support Indiana’s Agriculture and Rural Development, or by a USDA/ISDA Specialty Crops Block Grant to Purdue. Programs focused on cantaloupe are also relevant to other fresh fruits and vegetables; all growers are welcome to attend. Tuesday, March 17, 2015. 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Focus on Cantaloupe. 4-H Dining Hall, Adams County Fairgrounds, Monroe, IN. contact: Brad Kohlhagen, 260-724-5322, bkohlhag@purdue.edu. Tuesday, March 24, 2015. 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Focus on Cantaloupe. Ag Hall, Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, 17746 County Road 34, Goshen, IN. contact: Jeff Burbrink, 574-533-0554, Ext 106, jburbrink@purdue.edu. Friday, March 27, 2015. Parke County Fairgrounds, 1472 U.S. 41, Rockville, IN. Contact: Jim Luzar, 812-462-3371, luzar@purdue.edu. Monday, March 30, 2015. Hancock County, location TBD. Contact: Roy Ballard, 317-462-1113, rballard@purdue.edu. North Central Indiana Vegetable Grower Meeting. March 3, 2015. 9:30[Read More…]


​Welcome to a new year of the Vegetable Crops Hotline, Purdue Extension’s newsletter for people in the business of growing vegetables. Our goal is to provide timely information that will be useful for Indiana vegetable growers. If there is something you’d like to see included, please let us know.  Frequently we include links to web sites or publications available on line. If you aren’t able to access these resources, please contact us or a local Extension office to request a hard copy of the information. We are excited to start the year with a new format for the online version of the newsletter.  Each article will appear as an individual post on the site. Articles may be posted anytime they are written, not just every two weeks when an issue is compiled. When an issue IS compiled, it will include all the articles posted since the previous issue. In addition,[Read More…]


The goal of the Vegetable Crops Hotline is to provide vegetable growers with timely information that helps you to improve your vegetable production and marketing. This url tinyurl.com/lqww2lw links to a very short survey that will help us to make the Hotline more useful to you. We are especially interested in any comments you have regarding how we can improve the dissemination of information. This survey should take you less than 5 minutes to complete so we would be very grateful if you would take the time to complete it. This survey is voluntary and anonymous. All information is confidential and no hidden tracking of individual responses is being used. As always, thank you for your assistance.


The Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers Association (SWIM) will have their Annual Meeting beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, March 6, 2015, at the French Lick Resort & Conference Center, 8670 W. State Rd. 56, French Lick, IN. ​ We will be meeting in conjunction with the Illiana Watermelon Association again this year.  Membership for the Southwest indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers Association is $15 per person and will be collected at the time of registration. Membership fee includes lunch on March 6th and also dinner at the winter technical meeting. Private Applicator Recertification Program credits will be available for an additional $10 per person and will be collected at the end fo the PARP session. You must attend all the PARP sessions to receive credit. Bring your PARP card of number with you. We also have CCH credits for category 1 and RT available. Please RSVP[Read More…]


Lesions of bacterial fruit blotch on watermelon seedlings are easily confused with angular leaf spot. Check with a diagnostic lab to be sure. (Photo by Dan Egel)

Bacterial fruit blotch is a disease that can affect most cucurbits (see Figure 1). However, the symptoms are most often observed on watermelon. A brief description of this disease and some photos can be found here. This article will introduce new recommendations for this disease in Indiana. Details of these recommendations can be found in the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2015 (ID-56). Hard copies of the ID-56 are available from Purdue University now for $10. A free on-line version of the ID-56 will be available soon at mwveguide.org. Copper products such as those with copper hydroxide or copper sulfate are often recommended for management of bacterial fruit blotch (BFB).  However copper products applied too often can cause yellowing of leaves and even yield loss (phytotoxicity). Since BFB is mostly caused by rare contaminated seed lots, I have been reluctant to recommend copper products routinely for watermelon growers. However, the last few years I have[Read More…]


​The annual Starlight Area Vegetable Growers Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2015, in the Barnyard Bash II building at the Joe Huber Family Farm and Restaurant (2421 Engle Rd., Borden, IN 47106). This annual educational program will begin with registration and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., followed by a program by Purdue Extension specialists and the Floyd County Purdue Extension Educator. The program is for anyone with an interest in producing quality vegetables. The dinner is $10 per person with pre-registration by February 26th.  For nearly 40 years, vegetable growers from across Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky have been coming to Starlight, IN each winter to learn about the latest information regarding the production of fresh vegetables. Growers (including home gardeners) wishing to spend a few hours learning about the latest information in the field of vegetable crop production are encouraged to attend. There will[Read More…]


The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers (ID-56) is updated annually.

​The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers, or ID-56, remains a popular resource for growers in the region. If you haven’t got the 2015 edition yet, don’t delay! Members of the Indiana Vegetable Growers Association for 2015 receive a copy at no additional charge and hard copies can be purchased from The Education Store (phone: 888-398-4636) for $10 plus shipping. To download part or all of the book as a pdf, visit mwveguide.org The Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2014 includes trial results for sweet corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and more, including several crops in high tunnels. The book is available from The Education Store under the product number 16-18-14. Individual reports or the entire book may be downloaded in pdf format from ag.purdue.edu/hla/fruitveg/Pages/mvtr2014.aspx.


Flats of cabbage transplants are supported a few inches from floor of greenhouse

Many Indiana vegetable crops begin life as transplants. If lack of nutrients, lack of light, disease, or other problems slow growth during this stage it may reduce establishment success and/or growth and yield in the field or high tunnel. Good management of the following factors should lead to healthy transplants (see Figure 1). Time. Don’t seed transplants too early. Overgrown transplants are difficult to manage. If they get so root bound and shaded by other plants in the same flat that growth stops it will take them longer to resume growth in the field. They may become weakened and more susceptible to disease in the transplant tray and field. The ideal time depends on the crop and cell size, as well as the growing temperature. For ease of transplanting the finished transplant should have a well-developed root system that holds the root ball together, a sturdy stem, and be of[Read More…]


Unit heaters that aren’t properly maintained can be a source of air pollution that harms seedlings. (Photo by E. Maynard)

Transplant production will soon begin in earnest if not already underway. It is sensible to check the greenhouse heating system before starting production to make sure it works and won’t pollute the air in the greenhouse. This checklist for gas or propane-fire unit heaters highlights some of the major points. If you are not familiar with the system a service technician can help. General Maintenance. Check for physical damage; Remove any obstruction in vent and exhaust systems; Make sure components are supported properly and securely. Fans and Blowers. Lubricate as needed; Check for smooth operation; Inspect for physical damage; Adjust belts as needed; Check connections to electrical power. Heat Exchangers and Burners. Inspect exchanger closely for cracks or corrosion where air-polluting gases can escape; Clean inside tube surfaces if required; Inspect for dark discoloration on metal which may be a sign of overheating and if found, investigate cause; Clean gas[Read More…]


​As we approach the 2015 growing season, produce food safety continues to be an important issue.  This year, why not make it one of your goals to create a “culture” of food safety on your farm?  Below are some things you can do to get started on that goal during the winter months:Review (or get started on) your written food safety plan. Winter is an excellent time to review your written food safety plan.  As you review the plan, ask yourself if all policies and procedures are written in such a way that they are easily understood.  Review any areas, such as hand washing, documentation, etc., that presented particular challenges for the farm, to see if expectations can be clarified or if procedures can be simplified. Make sure policies and procedures are available in the appropriate languages. As we see an ever-increasing level of diversity in our labor force, it[Read More…]


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