Upcoming Events – Vegetable Crops Hotline

Upcoming Events

Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers’ Technical Meeting 

Date: November 21, 2017 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (EST)

Location: Southwest Purdue Ag Center (SWPAC), 4369 N. Purdue Road, Vincennes, IN

The meeting will start at 5:00 p.m. for board members to discuss topics for the March meeting, which will be held in French Lick, IN. Any member who wants to participate in the discussion is welcome. At 6:00 p.m., dinner will be served. Following that, we will showcase variety trials conducted at SWPAC in 2017, which includes seedless watermelons, melons, and personal-sized watermelons. Any grower interested in becoming a member is invited to attend. Membership dues are $15 per year and can be paid at the meeting. To register please call (812) 886-0198. Registration is due by Nov. 10. Any questions, please contact Wenjing Guan at guan40@purdue.edu 

Illiana Vegetable Growers Symposium

Date: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CST) Jan. 4 2018

Location: Teibel’s Restaurant, 1775 U.S. 41, Schererville, IN.

Commercial vegetable farmers and market gardeners will have networking opportunities and get tips on how to improve their business when they meet at the Illiana Vegetable Growers Symposium.

The program is a collaboration of Purdue University and the University of Illinois Extension services. Presenters will include Extension specialists from both universities.

Some highlighted presentations will be management of tomato bacterial canker, sprayers for controlling insects in sweet corn, new dicamba regulations, and updates on the federal food safety regulations.

There will also be breakout sessions during which participants can choose a focus on either marketing or production issues including cover crops and high tunnels.

Indiana private applicator recertification credits will be available for a $10 fee at the door. Indiana commercial pesticide applicator continuing certification hours and certified crop adviser continuing education units also are expected to be available.

Registration in advance costs $30 and should be postmarked by Dec. 14 or completed online by Dec. 20. Participants can also register at the door for $35, but they will not be guaranteed lunch.

Registration is available online through the Education Store at www.edustore.purdue.edu. For other information, contact Nikky Witkowski at (219) 755-3240 or nikky@purdue.edu or Kym Schwinkendorf at (219) 386-5232 or kschwink@purdue.edu

Indiana Hort Congress & Trade Show

Date: Feb. 13-15 2018

Location: Indianapolis Marriott East, 7202 East 21st Street, Indianapolis, IN 46219

Vegetable farmers will find lots of new information at the 2018 Indiana Horticulture Congress February 13-15 in Indianapolis. Phytophthora blight has been on the mind of many growers in recent years. This soilborne watermold can devastate pepper, pumpkin and other crops when rainy weather provides favorable conditions. The morning of February 14 Drs. Dan Egel, Purdue, Mary Hausbeck, Michigan State University, and Mohammad Babadoost, University of Illinois will delve into biology, prevention, and management of this pathogen on peppers, pumpkin, squash and watermelon.  There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions, too.

In the afternoon of February 14th presentations will focus on biostimulants, biopesticides, and biofertilizers. With the multitude of products and claims in the marketplace it is hard to know what is worth paying attention to, let alone buying. Drs. Lori Hoagland and Dan Egel, Purdue, and Matt Kleinhenz, The Ohio State University, will share what we know, and what we don’t know about these products and their role in vegetable farming.

On Tuesday, February 13th, afternoon vegetable sessions at the Congress will include updates on variety performance including pumpkins, sweet corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, and the best sprayers for controlling caterpillars in sweet corn. A roundtable discussion will follow the presentations.

Thursday morning will start off with a session about dealing with crop injury from herbicide drift. In the afternoon, Timothy Baker from Missouri will present high tunnel heating alternatives that could potentially further increase production in the structures. Dr. Krishna Nemali from Purdue will then discuss the possibility of adding supplemental lighting in high tunnels. The afternoon will wrap up with high tunnel variety updates including tomatoes, cucumbers and melons.

In addition to these educational sessions about vegetable farming, concurrent sessions over the three days include topics on farm management and marketing, tree fruit production, wine-grape production, hydroponics, and organic production. Recertification credits for Indiana Private Applicators, and continuing credit hours for Indiana Commercial Applicators will be available. The Indiana Vegetable Growers Association annual membership meeting will be held Wednesday afternoon. There will be plenty of chances to meet and talk with other growers, at the vegetable grower roundtable discussion on Tuesday afternoon, during social hours in the Trade Show, at ticketed luncheons, while sitting down with a few others for a meal or drink, or catching up in the hallway. The Trade Show gets bigger every year; it is a great place to connect with suppliers for your operation.

Registration opens in November. Visit www.inhortcongress.org for more information, or contact Lori Jolly-Brown at (765) 494-1296 or ljollybr@purdue.edu.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings and Webinar

Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) grower trainings will be offered throughout Indiana in the coming months. These trainings are approximately 8 hours in length and meet the training requirement for those who are covered under the FDA Produce Safety Rule.  Trainings have been confirmed for the following locations and dates:

November 3, 2017      Atlanta, IN

November 14, 2017    Evansville, IN

November 29, 2017    Crown Point, IN

January 12, 2018         New Albany, IN

Febuary 6, 2 018          Fort Wayne, IN

Febuary 15, 2018        Indianapolis, IN

March 1, 2018             Danville, IN

March 15, 2018           Ve vay, IN

April 2, 2018               Terre Haute, IN

April 3, 2018               Rockville, IN

April 5, 2018               Richmond, IN

Growers should visit the SafeProduceIN website (www.SafeProduceIN.com) for specific program times, locations, and to register for a program.

Additionally, a free webinar that outlines the value of FSMA Produce Safety Training for exempt produce farms will be presented on November 2nd at 3:00 p.m. Central Time. The webinar is being presented by a collaboration of produce food safety groups.

While some growers may be exempt from the Food Safety modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, there are still some records and practices that farms need to keep under their exemptions. Also, being exempt from the regulation may not mean being exempt from buyer or other market requirements. This webinar will summarize the Produce Safety Rule and how it could impact growers, what a PSA training includes, and how training could help meet a grower’s needs.

Participants may register for the webinar online at


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