2024 Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center Field Day – Vegetable Crops Hotline

2024 Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center Field Day

Registration for the 2024 field day will open in May.

The 2024 field day schedule will be available in May 2024.

2023 Schedule

High Tunnel and Urban Farming Research and Demonstration will be highlighted at the field day. Researchers will discuss the following:

  • High tunnel tomato and cucumber diseases (Dan Egel, Purdue)
  • High tunnel cucumber two-spotted spider mites and management (Leslie Aviles and Laura Ingwell, Purdue)
  • High tunnel tomato production and benefits of using companion plants (Samantha Willden, Laura Ingwell and Wenjing Guan, Purdue)
  • Drip irrigation and water effects on tomatoes (Emerson Luna, Dean Haseman and Wenjing Guan, Purdue)
  • Tomato quality and taste test of different cultivars (Dean Haseman and Wenjing Guan, Purdue)
  • Cover crop mix demonstration (Casey Kennett, NRCS)

The project funding sources include North Central SARE – Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Specialty Crop Research Initiative, Indiana Specialty Crop Block Grant and NRCS Urban Soil Health.

Additional projects that will be highlighted at the field day include:

Two-year Plasticulture Strawberry Research Update (Jeanine Arana, Steve Meyers and Wenjing Guan, Purdue)
Purdue Horticulture Crops Weed Science Lab members will discuss their research and findings from a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant-funded plasticulture strawberry project. Topics include variety selection, black versus white plastic mulch, and chemical and non-chemical weed management methods.

Organic Sweet Potato Weed Management (Emmanuel Cooper and Steve Meyers, Purdue)
Members of the Purdue Horticulture Crops Weed Science Lab will discuss their research and findings from a multi-state USDA-funded organic sweet potato project. We seek to manage weeds by exploring distinct cultural practices and methods of production like in-row spacing, weed-free period, cover cropping, and weed-suppressive traits.

Soil Health and Pepper Production (Petrus Langenhoven and Nathan Shoaf, Purdue)
What is the impact of soil management practices on soil health? Does increasing soil health mean reduced input, and does pepper variety performance differ according to soil health status? During this presentation, we will discuss the progress and results of an ongoing 4-year USDA-funded grant, Soil to Market, that was designed to help answer some of these questions.

Effects of Alternative Cover Crops on Pest and Beneficial Insects in Watermelon Production (Zeus Mateos Fierro and Ian Kaplan, Purdue)
This trial investigates the benefits of alternative flowering cover crops to boost wild pollinators and natural enemies to improve yield and reduce pest density in watermelon. We are also exploring the reduction in pesticide use through threshold-based recommendations to control watermelon pests.

Don’t miss the opportunity to talk with researchers about various fruit and vegetable production issues and hear about the current projects conducted at SWPAC. The field day is free and open to the public.

The field day has two tracks, Horticultural Crop Production and an Agronomic Crop Production track. Please select the Horticultural Crop Production track at registration if you are interested in hearing about the above topics.


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