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One can hardly glance at the news recently without noticing an item about the health of bees and other pollinators. We can all agree on the importance pollinators play in the health of our planet and the critical role honey bees and bumble bees play in agriculture. There is no doubt that populations of honey bees in particular have been in decline over the last several years. The multiple reasons for the decline are not as clear. This article will address the role that fungicides may play in bee health. There are many possible reasons for the decline of bee populations. Pesticides have been implicated in bee declines. Most experts would agree pesticides may play a role in bee population declines. The type of pesticide that is most often implicated in bee declines are the insecticides. This makes sense: bees are insects. There is less known about the role that[Read More…]


Chateau SW® herbicide now has a 24(c) special local needs label for cucurbits. This product is produced by Valent, but the label is held by the Indiana Vegetable Growers Association (IVGA).  To obtain a label, one must be a member of the IVGA, pay an annual $100 processing fee, read and understand the ‘conditions for use’ and have the appropriate forms signed and notarized. One cannot use Chateau SW® without completing these forms and obtaining a label. This process must be repeated every year. Chateau® can only be used in row middles between raised plastic mulch beds that are 4 inches higher than the treated row middle. The mulched bed must be at least 24 inches wide. The application must be directed between rows with a shielded sprayer. Chateau® cannot be applied post-transplant. Do not apply more than 4 oz. of Chateau® per acre at a broadcast rate during a single application.[Read More…]


Figure 1. Seedcorn maggot in a melon stem

Three species of seed and root maggots attack vegetables in Indiana. The seedcorn maggot feeds on seeds and seedlings of sweet corn, cucurbits, lima and snap beans, peas, and other crops. Cabbage maggots can cause serious damage to transplants of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts and make the fleshy roots of radishes, turnips, and rutabagas unmarketable. Onion maggots are pests of seedling onions, developing bulbs and onions intended for storage. Seedcorn maggot flies emerge in April and May and lay eggs preferentially in areas with decaying organic matter. Fields that are heavily manured or planted to a cover crop are more likely to have seedcorn maggot injury. Maggots burrow into the seed and feed within, often destroying the germ. The seeds fail to germinate and plants do not emerge from the soil, leaving gaps in the stand. When infested seeds germinate, the seedlings are weak and may die. Maggots[Read More…]


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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…]


Many pesticides for use on vegetables have varying rules for use in different states. This article will review the different classes of labels for pesticides and where to find labels online. The shorthand names for classes of labels come from the section of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act that governs each class. National labels are called Section 3 labels. These labels are approved by EPA for uses throughout the country. The Master Label on file with the EPA includes all registered uses. The label on a marketed product often contains only a subset of those uses. Even with federal approval of a Section 3 label, in order to be sold and used in Indiana, the product must also be registered with the Office of the Indiana State Chemist. To find products that are registered in Indiana, visit the NPIRS public web site. http://npirspublic.ceris.purdue.edu/state/state_menu.aspx?state=IN. Search by product name, EPA[Read More…]


I have recently received a number of calls from growers about how to prune determinate tomatoes in a stake and weave system. Although this is relatively easy compared to how to prune indeterminate tomatoes with a trellis system, there are a few things I would like to call to your attention. What to prune  The common practice is to prune the suckers at the bottom of tomato plants. The benefit of this practice is to improve airflow which may help to control foliar diseases. Shoots of determinate tomatoes stop growing once they set a terminal bud. Most of us understand that if suckers are pruned too much, plants may have reduced yield.  However, there is confusion about exactly what to prune. Normally, the bottom 6-7 suckers should be pruned until the first flower cluster. But it is important to note that the sucker just below the first flower cluster develops a[Read More…]


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I recently encountered some lesions of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) that appeared relatively large and had a ring-like structure.  I was able to confirm the presence of the virus, but at first glance, the lesions could be mistaken for a very common tomato disease: early blight. This article will describe how the foliar lesions of these two diseases might be distinguished. First, a bit about the symptoms of these diseases. Early blight is perhaps the most common foliar disease of tomato in Indiana. One might first notice that the older leaves turn necrotic. If left uncontrolled, the diseased lesions appear to ‘move’ up the plant. A closer look at early blight lesions may reveal the bull’s-eye lesions of this disease (Figure 1). These lesions may also be described as having concentric rings similar to a target. (Early blight is not the only disease to have concentric rings.) I usually[Read More…]


Figure 3. A cucumber beetle on the 0.7 x 1.0 mm screen (photo credit: John Obermeyer)

One of the most problematic insect pests that organic vegetable growers have to deal with is the striped cucumber beetle. The insect feeds on all the cucurbit crops, but can be particularly devastating to muskmelons and cucumbers because those two crops are susceptible to bacterial wilt of cucurbits, which is caused by a bacterium carried by the beetles. The only way to avoid this devastating disease is to prevent the beetles from feeding on the plants. There are no effective organic insecticides for managing striped cucumber so we have to look for alternative methods. Row Covers: Row covers can be used to physically prevent beetles from feeding on the plants. To be effective, these need to be placed over the plants immediately after transplanting or before direct seeded crops emerge. The edges of the row covers should be sealed with soil to prevent the beetles from crawling under the fabric[Read More…]


The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2018 (ID-56) was printed in December 2017.  At the same time, the on-line version was posted at mwveguide.org.  As updates need to be made to the ID-56, I will make those updates to the on-line version. I will announce these updates in the Hotline as I post them. Consider the updates below and mark those updates in the hard copy of your ID-56 that will affect you. Briefly, Quadris Top® has been changed to silent on greenhouse use, Luna® products have been added to crops in the fruiting vegetable chapter, and RUP® has been added to Pounce 25WP® under sweet corn. My thanks to the several individuals who have suggested updates. Fungicide table, page 79-Change Quadris Top® from no to silent under the column for greenhouse use. Eggplant, page 134-under anthracnose, add Luna Sensation® at 7.6 fl. oz. per acre. 3-day PHI.[Read More…]


Today, seven out of 10 Americans use social media to share information, find entertainment, and engage with businesses (Pew Research Center, 2017). Social media have become an important information source for Millennials; yet, Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are significantly increasing their use of Facebook and other social media platforms. Among social media platforms, Facebook remains the most popular with almost 80 percent of online adults, followed by Instagram (32 percent), Pinterest (31 percent), LinkedIn (29 percent), and Twitter (24 percent). If you are selling directly to consumers, this article can assist your business social media marketing. Social media influences how Americans purchase products and services, so it is proving to be a powerful — and inexpensive — marketing tool. Businesses can use social media to increase their online exposure, attract new customers, highlight new products or services, hear what customers and potential customers say, and most importantly, build relationships.[Read More…]


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