Wenjing Guan

Vegetable Crops Hotline Editor & Clinical Engagement Assistant Professor
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Area(s) of Interest: Commercial Vegetable and Melon Production
Wenjing Guan's website

234 articles by this author

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The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is undertaking a major redesign of its Uplink Employer Self-Service system (ESS) to better meet the needs of employers. ESS provides employers with online access to Unemployment Insurance account information, including report submission, tax payments and information on account issues. The first phase of the redesign will be completed by April 30 and will include: online, printable copies of notices and mailings; intuitive menus featuring easier to read fonts and graphics; simplified user roles; consolidated wage and contribution reporting; and fully integrated electronic payment options. “The redesign of the ESS is a much needed and welcome upgrade to the ESS user experience,” said Gina Ashley, DWD Chief Unemployment Insurance and Workforce Solutions Officer. “These upgrades are the result of two years of conducting employer surveys and identifying of best practices. Businesses that use the ESS to access their Unemployment Insurance account, submit reports and[Read More…]

Cover crops can be a useful conservation practice for improving soil health, scavenging and recycling nutrients, reducing erosion, and contributing to more resilient cropping systems over the long term.  Two new extension publications about Cover Crop Recipes for Indiana are available at the Purdue Education Store: https://edustore.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=AY-356-W https://edustore.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=AY-357-W There is also a webinar scheduled on Feb. 22 at 10 am EST for a discussion of the new Indiana cover crop recipe. More information about this event and the publications are available at the Midwest Cover Crops Council website http://mccc.msu.edu/getting-started/cover-crop-recipes/

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Please welcome Dr. Brock Harpur as a new Assistant Professor in Pollinator Biology. He joins the Department of Entomology, Purdue University.  A native of British Columbia, Canada, Brock is a specialist in honey bee genetics and the evolution of social insects. He will take up honeybee research program plus provide extension expertise to bee-keepers both professional and amateur, and citizens concerned about bees and pollinator conservation. Please contact Dr. Harpur at bharpur@purdue.edu  

Welcome to a new year of the Vegetable Crops Hotline (VCH), Purdue Extension’s newsletter for people in the business of growing vegetables. As usual, we will have fifteen issues throughout the 2019 growing season. The first issue of the year is sent to all who subscribed to VCH via US-mail in 2018 as well as new subscribers for 2019. To continue receiving future copies through US-mail, renew your Hotline subscription using the form attached to this issue. Note that we provide an up-to three years’ subscription of VCH with a reduced price. If you receive the issue through email, you will continue to receive the newsletters on the issue dates. In addition, you will receive emails if there are articles or announcements that need your immediate attention. These articles will be posted under Hot Topics and be included in the next issue. All the previous articles published in VCH are available on the website. Frequently we include links to websites or publications available on-line. If you aren’t[Read More…]

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Getting seedlings off to a good start begins with a good growing medium for transplants. Growing media for organic production must meet the guidelines set out by the National Organic Standards Board, including not containing any synthetic substances (unless they have been approved for that use) or any prohibited materials. A number of products meet those criteria, and many of them are listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) to document that they meet the criteria. Last year, with funding from a USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, a group at Purdue began evaluating commercially-available, OMRI-listed growing media for vegetable transplant production (Table 1). Table 1. Growing media used in transplant production trials, 2018. Product Abbreviation Source Johnny’s 512 J512 Johnny’s Selected Seeds Morgan Composting 201 M201 Morgan Composting Penn Valley Potting Soil PENN Penn Valley Farms PromixMP Organik PMPO BFG Supply Seed[Read More…]

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2019 Indiana Small Farm Conference Date: February 28 to March 2, 2019 Location: Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville, Indiana Registration ends 2/20/19. More information about the conference can be found at https://www.purdue.edu/dffs/smallfarms/   Michiana Greenhouse & High Tunnel Growers Meeting Date: March 5, 2019 9:00 am – 3:30 pm Location: Elkhart County 4-H fairgrounds. 17746 County Rd 34, Goshen, IN Topics of the grower meeting include: Update on current research in greenhouse and high tunnels – what is new and emerging for 2019? How to use greenhouse lighting to improve quality and reduce production time; High tunnel irrigation and fertility management considerations; Disease and disorders from seed to transplant; Insect pest control & how effective are predators; Driftwatch update More information about the meeting can be found at https://extension.purdue.edu/Elkhart/article/31851   Southeastern IN Vegetable Growers Meeting Date: March 7, 2019 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST Location: Floyd County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2818 Green[Read More…]

SWIM meeting * Parke Co. Veg. meeting * Illiana Veg Symposium * Indiana Hort Congress * Small Farm Conference Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers’ Technical Meeting Date: November 15, 2018 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (EST) Location: Southwest Purdue Ag Center (SWPAC), 4369 N. Purdue Road, Vincennes, IN The main focus of the Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers’ Technical Meeting is to discuss watermelon and cantaloupe varieties based on results of variety trials conducted at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center in 2018. The meeting will start at 5: 00 pm for board members to discuss topics for the upcoming Southwest Indiana Melon and Vegetable Growers Annual Meeting, which will be held on March 8, 2019 in French Lick, IN. Any member who wants to participate in the discussion is welcome. At 6:00 pm, dinner will be served. Following that, we will showcase variety trials.  Any grower interested in becoming a member is[Read More…]

Two new versions of vegetable disease extension bulletins: Downy Mildew of Cucurbits and Fusarium Wilt of Watermelon are available. They can be downloaded at: Downy Mildew of Cucurbits: https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?itemID=23207 Fusarium Wilt of Watermelon: https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?itemID=23211 

We are going to continue the study of evaluating grafted cucumbers for early season production in greenhouses and high tunnels by collaborating with farmers. You will find what we have learned through the process in the previous article. The same as last year, we are going to supply grafted and normal cucumber plants for free. These plants were grown in a conventional greenhouse. We will use untreated rootstock seeds, but they are not certified organic. What we want for you is to grow the same number and variety of grafted and normal cucumber plants, and keep track of the yields. We will provide a stipend for your efforts in tracking the data. In addition, we encourage farmers to learn grafting technique and produce grafted plants on your own. We will provide you with technical support and help with the process on site if it is needed. If you are interested[Read More…]

Figure 1. Cucumbers were grown in a greenhouse in April 2018

Cucumbers are extremely sensitive to cold. Locally grown cucumbers are almost only available in the summer. While in Asia, without the use of fancy heated greenhouses, cucumbers can grow all winter. Growing grafted cucumbers with cold tolerant squash rootstock is one of the key factors making this possible. Since 2016, we started to evaluate opportunities of using grafted plants to extend early season cucumber production under protected cultural systems in the Midwest. We observed promising results in our research trials. However, knowing research trials can only tell part of the story, we initiated multiple on-farm trials across Indiana to better understand if and under what circumstances growers would benefit from this technique. This article discusses the lessons we have learned so far and raises questions that need to be answered. Heated greenhouses A pronounced advantage of using grafted cucumbers was observed in the situations that cucumbers were grown in soils[Read More…]