Liz Maynard

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

72 articles by this author

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​Effective Management of Farm Employees – Webinar. Thursday, May 28, 2015. 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT. Register at http://goo.gl/NvQ1eL. This webinar will be facilitated by Phil Durst and Stan Moore from Michigan State University. These Extension Senior Extension Educators will discuss the impact of personnel management on the engagement of employees based on phone interviews with dairy farm employees. Topics include training, communicating performance standards, encouraging mental involvement, and feedback. They will also address issues related to employing Latino labor. The webinar will be recorded. Sponsored by Purdue Women in Agriculture. For more information contact Amanda Veenhuizen, aveenhuizen@purdue.edu, 765-825-8502. Good Agricultural Practices A to Z Workshop – Marion County. Wednesday, May 27, 2015. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT. Indiana Farm Bureau Building. 225 S. East Street, Indianapolis. Register at tinyurl.com/RegisterGAPsAtoZ. This GAPs A to Z workshop will cover the basics of good agricultural practices for fruit and vegetable[Read More…]


​Some of the herbicides available for use on vegetables in Indiana are registered under a supplemental label or under a special local needs (SLN, 24(c)) registration. In these cases the instructions for use on vegetables are not on the main label that comes with the purchased product. For instance, in the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide, Dual Magnum® is listed as an option for watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber in Indiana and Ohio. The label on the herbicide container doesn’t list those crops. Neither does the main label available from a common online label site, www.cdms.net. This is because the product is registered for use on these crops under a special local needs (24(c)) registration. Anyone using the product should have on hand a copy of the label that provides specific instructions for use on the crop in question, in addition to the main label.  The 24(c) label in this example is[Read More…]


Driftwatch registry map with pin marking high tunnels at Pinney-Purdue Ag Center circled in yellow as an example.

​Vegetable, fruit, and organic farmers can register their production areas on Driftwatch.org to let commercial pesticide applicators know where the fields are. Beekeepers can also register sites where beehives are located. Once sites are registered and approved they appear on the Driftwatch registry map (see Fig. 1) and partnering applicators are notified. This helps applicators reduce drift or accidental application to vegetable crops.  Registration is free and easy. Why not do it today? Visit Fieldwatch.com to find the user guide with instructions.  If you registered fields last year you will need to renew the sites in order for them to show up in the registry this year. When renewing, it isn’t necessary to reenter all the information, just what has changed for 2015. Instructions for renewal are also online.



​Purdue Extension is starting the Indiana Food Hub Network this year. So what’s a food hub? The USDA working definition is “a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products.”   Extension educator Roy Ballard, who is workkng with Local Food Coordinator Jodee Ellett to develop Indiana’s network, says, “Food hubs come in all shapes and sizes, and are finding great success nationwide. They can enable small- to mid-sized growers to enter a larger, wholesale-style local food marketplace with other growers by co-marketing products and services such as communication and distribution. But hubs are scale-neutral; they are providing a means for all sizes of farms and food entrepreneurs to expand their local food markets.”  If you want to learn more, or might be interested in forming a food hub, consider joining the new email list Indiana Food Hubs[Read More…]


​Cover crops should be killed at least a couple of weeks before planting vegetables. That will give the cover time to partially decompose, and time for any cutworm larvae that may be in the crop to die or pupate. If wet weather delays killing or incorporation of cover crops, the time between incorporation and planting may be shorter than normal, or the cover crop may be larger than normal. There are implications for pest, nutrient, and cover crop management. Black cutworm moths prefer to lay eggs in vegetated areas, including fields with cover crops or weeds. They typically show up in early May. To track black cutworm moth catches in pheromone traps throughout the state, refer to the Purdue Pest & Crop Newsletter at http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/pestcrop/2015/index.html. If larvae are present in the cover crop and they survive until the cash crop is planted or emerges, they may cause serious stand loss.[Read More…]


​(Information provided by Office of the Indiana State Chemist, 765-494-1492, www.isco.purdue.edu) The Indiana Pesticide Clean Sweep Project designed to collect and dispose of suspended, canceled, banned, unusable, opened, unopened or just unwanted pesticides (weed killers, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, miticides, etc.) is being sponsored by the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC). This disposal service is free of charge up to 250 pounds per participant. Over 250 pounds there will be a $2.00 per pound charge. This is a great opportunity for you to legally dispose of unwanted products at little or no cost. All public and private schools, golf courses, nurseries, farmers, ag dealers, cities, towns, municipalities and county units of government or others receiving this notice are eligible to participate. Pesticides will be accepted from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Local Time at the following dates and locations in August, 2015: August 18: Miami County Fairgrounds, Peru, IN August[Read More…]


Photo by E. Maynard

​Sometimes newly transplanted crops don’t take off like we’d expect. Consider the newly transplanted tomato seedlings in these images. In Figure 1, lower leaves are chlorotic (yellow) and leaflet edges and leaves curl downward. In Figure 2, lower leaves are chlorotic or bleached and some had necrotic (dead) spots. In Figure 3, some leaves have died and others have ‘scorched’ margins or tips. Figures 1 and 2 are from a high tunnel; Figure 3 is from the field. What they have in common is that the tomato plants are not thriving after transplanting. It may be hard to say exactly what is going on with each of these, but it would not be surprising if they were cases of over application of a fertilizer or soil amendment, leading to toxicities for the plant. Ammonium toxicity is common when soil is cool and wet, soil pH is low, and there is[Read More…]


​Two USDA grant programs may be of interest to vegetable growers or grower organizations. The Rural Energy for America Program helps growers and small rural business improve energy efficiency, or purchase or install renewable energy systems. The program includes guaranteed loan financing and grant funding. For more information see the USDA website at www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency or contact Indiana’s rural energy coordinator Jerry Hay at 812-346-3411 Ext.126. The Specialty Crop Block Grant provides funding to promote specialty crop competitiveness in Indiana. Grants are made to non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities and other organizations related to Indiana’s specialty crops industry. Past funding from this program has supported projects by grower groups, Purdue, and others in the areas of marketing, food safety education (e.g. GAPs A to Z programs), production education (e.g. Indiana Horticultural Congress), research on production practices, and more. Proposals are due to the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA)[Read More…]


​For those who receive hard copies of the Vegetable Crops Hotline by US Mail, this will be the last issue mailed unless you have renewed your subscription for 2015. You may renew by 1) mailing subscription form included in this issue with payment, or 2) joining or renewing membership in the Indiana Vegetable Growers Association for 2015. If you attended a winter vegetable meeting, there may have been an opportunity to renew when you registered for the event. If you aren’t sure whether you have renewed or not, contact Barb Joyner at joynerb@purdue.edu or 812-886-0198.