Articles from 2016

130 articles found.

Late summer is a time when vegetable growers spend much of their time harvesting produce. Many growers, however, also find it is necessary to apply pesticides. All pesticides label state a preharvest interval (PHI) on the label. This is the amount of time, in days, between the time the fruit is sprayed with a pesticides and the time it can be harvested. That is, after a pesticide is applied to a vegetable crop, a specific amount of days must pass before the fruit is harvested. This article will breifly describe how PHIs are determined, give some examples of PHIs and list a couple of questions about PHIs. I have used examples of vegetable crops and fungicides, however, the same concepts apply to apply to all pesticides and all produce. The reason the US EPA determines PHIs is to ensure that produce that is consumed does not have unsafe pesticide residues. The first step in determining a[Read More…]


Corn earworm flights are quite variable around the state, but are generally heavy. Counts in pheromone traps are higher in the northern part of the state, with the LaPorte County trap reporting 1422 moths over a 7 day period last week. That’s about 20 X the threshold level. As I wrote in the last newsletter, growers need to be spraying frequently when silks are green during this period of time. If you are growing one of the Bt varieties, especially in the northern part of the state, I would still recommend at least a moderate spray program to ensure that you get the results you are looking for.


Beginning Farmer Tour Date: September 29, 2016 Location: River Ridge Farm, Roann, IN. This four-season farm produces vegetables and small fruits. The tour will include information about operating an on-farm store, farm-to-school, and four-season growing.The tour will be 9 A.M. – 3:30 P.M. (EST). Lunch will be served.The tours are free, but registration is required. Registration at https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/wk_rules.asp?itemID=22368 Aquaponics Conference  Date: October 28-29, 2016 Location: Kokomo Event & Conference Center, 1500 N. Reed Road in Kokomo Aquaponics is a system that combines fish rearing and vegetable production. Topics include food safety of vegetables, pest control in aquaponics operations, indoor environmental conditions, vegetables for aquaponics, greenhouse structures and fish in aquaponics operations. Early-bird registration fee through Sept. 18 is $90 for Indiana Aquaculture Association Inc. (IAAI) members and $100 for non-members. After that date, registration is $100 for IAAI members and $125 for non-members. An optional tour of Green River Greenhouse can be added for an additional[Read More…]


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…]


Figure 3. Plant infected with bacterial wilt, transmitted by spotted and stripped cucumber beetles

In issue 619 of the Vegetable Crops Hotline newsletter I reported that during April 2016 research focusing on the development of a unique market segment for Indiana melon growers was initiated. The research aims to demonstrate that through the use of high tunnels or greenhouses growers will be able to market melons earlier and increase yield while keeping quality undeniably high. Initial research focused on variety evaluation in a soil and soilless production system in high tunnels and a greenhouse, where the plants were trellised vertically. In the long term, we aim to establish the best production practices for high tunnel and greenhouse growers in Indiana and we will do a complete life cycle analysis to determine the profitability of the proposed production systems. Well it sounds all easy to do, but in reality I have experienced several production related issues during the growing season. Let me present to you[Read More…]


Important Input Needed! Clear Choices Clean Water, in cooperation with the Office of the Indiana State Chemist and the Purdue Pesticides Program, is conducting a survey to guide state-wide pollinator protection efforts. How does this impact you? More than 1/3 of all plants or plant products consumed by humans are dependent on insects for pollination. Please help impact future protection efforts by participating today. The first 500 respondents get a FREE 2-ounce bottle of local honey! The pollinator survey is at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/pollinate This information is adapted from official announcement of the survey.


I have recently received calls from growers who use surface water to irrigate produce crops. Their concern was that the results of their current water tests were very different from their last tests and that levels of indicator organisms appeared to have increased dramatically. Ponds and lakes that are used for irrigation can be very dynamic. Research has shown that levels of indicator organisms can change dramatically in a very short time. Because surface water is open to the environment and unprotected, changes in temperature and weather can affect ponds and lakes. During the spring and autumn seasons, ponds and lakes undergo inversions, stirring up sediments that have settled on the bottom of the pond. Rainfall can also cause bottom sediments to be stirred up. Bottom sediments may contain any number of materials. Soil particles from runoff are one of the primary components. Decaying bits of plant and animal debris may also be found in bottom[Read More…]


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