Liz Maynard

Clinical Engagement Assistant Professor of Horticulture
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Liz Maynard's website

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Figure 3. The fungus on this senescent female pumpkin flower (Choanephora sp.) is growing on a flower which did not develop properly.

There has been some concern about poor fruit set in pumpkin fields that otherwise have healthy vigorous vines. This summer we have experienced above normal temperatures for much of the pumpkin fruit set season and I suspect that has played a role. This article will consider temperature as well as other factors that influence pumpkin fruit set. In order for fruit set to take place, male and female flowers must be open on the same day, pollinating insects must be active, the plant must not be too stressed and it must have an adequate level of carbohydrates. Growers can influence some of these conditions. High temperatures promote death of female pumpkin flowers while still in the bud stage. Varieties differ in the their sensitivity to high temperatures. To determine whether flowers have died early in development requires close inspection of the pumpkin vine. An aborted bud often dries up and[Read More…]

The cool weather this spring means that many early-planted warm season crops have probably been stressed by cool temperatures more than usual. A number of herbicides labeled for vegetable crops include warnings not to use when the crop is or will be under stress. A stressed crop may not be able to detoxify the herbicide or outgrow its effects quickly enough. In the case of a soil applied herbicide, the crop roots may not grow into untreated soil fast enough to avoid injury. High rainfall amounts can also lead to crop injury from soil-applied herbicides. Many herbicides move with soil water, and when there is too much water they can move where they are not wanted. Preemergence herbicides may move deep enough to injure crops with a low margin of tolerance. For instance rain may move Curbit® deep enough to injure seeded pumpkins. If you are seeing some of the[Read More…]

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Purdue Extension publication PPP-110 ‘Options for Dealing with a Pesticide Drift Incident’ describes causes and effects of pesticide drift. It discusses actions a vegetable farmer (or anyone) might take if they suspect that herbicide drift may have injured their crop. The first step suggested is to find out what caused the symptoms. The publication explains that Purdue Extension educators can help in determining the cause of symptoms, but are not pesticide drift investigators. The Office of the Indiana State Chemist (OISC) investigates pesticide drift complaints. What happens once a complaint is filed is outlined step-by-step. There is also a list of the kind of information it is helpful to collect as soon as a problem is noticed. To order a free, single copy of the publication, call the Education Store at 765-494-6795. It may also be downloaded as a pdf at

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Purdue University is pleased to offer Indiana fruit and vegetable farmers a farm walk-through with a private food safety consultant. This opportunity is open to any farm that sells fresh produce and has attended a produce safety educational program. A consultant paid by Purdue will visit your farm to walk through and address your specific farm and packinghouse food safety questions. Growers who participated in the consulting program in 2015 reported it was very helpful. Funds for the consulting come from a grant from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture through the USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant Program. The grant also includes funds for audit cost-sharing for Indiana fruit and vegetable growers who receive passing scores on their third party food safety audits. The audit cost-share program will reimburse at least 40% of the cost of a third party food safety audit, up to a maximum reimbursement of $750 per farm.[Read More…]

Fruit and vegetable farmers, wholesale produce buyers, agency personnel, and others are invited to attend a Community Meeting to discuss the potential development of an Indiana Fresh Produce Food Safety Audit Service. This community event is a critical component of a study being conducted by New Venture Advisors and Liz Maynard to assess whether or not an Indiana Food Safety Audit Service should be developed and, if so, how it should be structured. This community meeting will be an opportunity for us to hear from fruit and vegetable farmers who would want to utilize an Indiana Audit Service and are interested in helping to shape the concept. We are also seeking ideas and feedback from wholesale produce buyers, members of state agencies and other stakeholders in Indiana. When: Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Eastern Time Location: Third Floor, Discovery Hall, Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis RSVP by Friday March 18th: Liz Maynard,[Read More…]

This is the final issue of the Vegetable Crops Hotline for 2015. Now is the time for subscribers who receive a paper copy in the mail to renew. A renewal form is included with this issue. Email subscribers will remain on the subscription list as long as the email address works. IVGA members will have their Veg Crops Hotline subscription renewed when they renew IVGA membership (form available here) and do not have to send in a separate renewal form for the newsletter. Your feedback about the newsletter: what was useful, what wasn’t, whether the online version was easy to use, etc., is helpful to us. Don’t hesitate to send me a note ( or 600 Vale Park Rd. Valparaiso, IN 46383), or visit to submit comments online. Thank you!

​There is still time to submit a proposal to this grant program. The 2016 Farmer Rancher Grant Program of NCR SARE offers grants for farmer-initiated projects of up to $7,500 for individuals, $15,000 for partners, and $22,500 for groups. Grant applications are due in the NCR SARE office on Thursday, December 3, 2015. To learn more about the grants and download a grant application, visit To receive a hard copy of the application, call NCR-SARE at 612-626-3113. Not sure how to get started? Purdue Extension’s October 7 webinar about how to write a grant was recorded and is available at’s+Personal+Room-20151007+1401-1_42105557/0_3nhrcqvc.  If you have additional questions about this grant program, please contact Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension Educator for Hancock County and Indiana SARE State Coordinator at 317-462-1113 or by e-mail at

​The Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers Association will hold their technical meeting and variety trial showcase on Thursday, December 3rd at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center, 4369 N. Purdue Road, Vincennes, IN. The meeting will start at 6:00 P.M., dinner will be served. At approximately 7:00 P.M., the variety trial discussion will begin. Any grower interested in becoming a member is invited to attend. Membership dues are $15 per year and can be paid at the meeting. If you have questions or want to RSVP, please contact Barb Joyner or Dan Egel at 812-886-0198 or email RSVP are due by November 20th.