Articles from 2016

130 articles found.

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How many times have you had to explain to a customer how to select, prepare or store a product that you have grown and are offering for sale? Did you ever wonder if more shoppers might buy your product if they had a clear understanding of how to prepare it? How many of us would buy a kohlrabi if we never learned how to prepare one in a manner that our family would enjoy? Many of today’s shoppers are making purchasing decisions based on convenience and a lack of knowledge about how to select and prepare traditional fresh produce. If we expect this generation of shoppers to buy what we are growing we need either a lot of time and patience to help them one at a time as we encounter their questions in the marketplace and/or we need tools so the shopper can educate themselves at the point of[Read More…]


Winter is coming to a close in about a month, and the coldest of the days should be behind us at this point. Here in Indiana, El Nino usually points to a warmer, drier kind of winter.  With the past El Nino being considered one of the strongest on record, how much did the warm Pacific Ocean affect Indiana? The temperature and precipitation graphs around the state look somewhat similar to Figures 1 (Columbus) and Figure 2 (Lowell). High temperatures generally trended unseasonably warm right around the winter holiday, December 23 or 27, and around February 2. During both periods, record warm temperatures were set depending on location within the state.  The southwestern portion of the state had a four day record shattering streak of warm temperatures, while the more impressive warmth was experienced in February at some more northern locations (Figure 2). Going around the state, high temperatures this[Read More…]


The last two summers, I have had pretty good fungicide trials for powdery mildew of pumpkin. Since all of the products trialed are now labeled or close to being labeled, I thought it was time to share this information with vegetable growers of Indiana. First, a bit of background about this disease. In Indiana, powdery mildew affects primarily pumpkin and cantaloupe.  The disease is easily recognized by the talc-like lesions on both sides of the leaf. (This article will help with diagnosis.) If left uncontrolled, the disease can cause loss of foliage, loss of yield and lower quality fruit. The fungus that causes powdery mildew, Podosphaera xanthii, does not require leaf wetness for infection of leaves, only high humidity. The optimum temperature for disease development is 68 to 81°F. P. xanthii may survive in crop residue as a resilient fungal structure, but the disease is so easily windborne, that crop[Read More…]


In a separate article in this issue, I discussed management of powdery mildew with conventional fungicides.  Here I would like to talk about powdery mildew management of cucurbits with organically approved products.  I will describe two studies, one with all organically approved products and a second with a combination of organic and conventional products.  All studies were conducted at the SW Purdue Ag Center in Vincennes, IN. The organic products discussed are defined as organic since they appear on the Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI).  There are other certifying agencies.  Be sure to check with your certifying agency before using any fungicide product.  As an example, the Champ DP® product used in 2010 is listed by OMRI as approved.  However, Champ WP® is not. In the 2010 study shown below, zucchini of the variety Raven F1 were planted in the certified organic plot managed at the SW Purdue Ag Center.  Organic products[Read More…]


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