Thursday, July 23, 2009

'2009 Central Indiana Twilight Vegetable Grower Tour

Time: August 3, 2009 from 6:30pm to 9pm

Location: Tuttle Orchards

Organized By: Roy Ballard

Event Description:

On the evening of Monday, August 3, 2009 vegetable growers are invited to attend a free twilight tour to discuss some of these topics with Extension specialists from Purdue University at Tuttle Orchards in North western Hancock County. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. local time.

The purpose of this meeting is to offer vegetable growers of Central Indiana a chance to gather, discuss current growing conditions and learn of pest pressures their crops are experiencing and how to reduce the impact of these on the yield/value of their crops.

Participants will also have a unique opportunity to take a guided tour of the Tuttle Orchards vegetable fields and to learn from co-owner Mile Roney about his recent experiences with drip irrigation and high tunnel production of tomatoes.Drs. Liz Maynard-Extension Horticulturalist and Rick Foster-Extension Entomologist will share their current research and provide an update on varieties and pest pressure that they are seeing across Indiana.

Dr. Maynard will display some new sweet corn varieties from her current trial work in Northern Indiana and Rick Foster will describe the potential the corn earworm trap that is sited at the Tuttle farm to reduce pesticide use and costs.

The evening will wrap up with a brief August business meeting of the Hancock Harvest Council.The Hancock Harvest Council is a group of farmers seeking ways to enhance their place in the market by working together to meet the needs of consumers who wish to buy fresh farm products from local farmers. The Hancock Harvest Council serves farmers in Hancock and all contiguous counties.Please call 317-462-1113 or e-mail to register

Monday, July 13, 2009

Potassium and Nitrogen Deficiencies in Tomatoes - submitted by Mark Kepler

On July 10, 2009 Liz Maynard, vegetable specialist and myself (Mark Kepler) went to Titus Oberholtzer’s two high tunnels in which he is growing fresh market tomatoes. Liz brought along meters used for analyzing leaf petioles for Potassium and Nitrate levels. We tested plants that have a yellow shoulder problem.

Levels in these plants were substantially lower in Potassium (1400 ppm in plants with yellow shoulder disorder vs. 2200 ppm in normal plants). Leaves in another greenhouse were compared for nitrogen levels. The stunted plants had nitrate levels of 360 ppm and those larger plants had a reading of 2500 ppm nitrate, confirming suspicions of a nitrogen deficiency.

These results were consistent with recent tissue test results for entire leaves performed by a commercial lab. It is my opinion this is a good tool to use in greenhouse situations to monitor plant fertility levels.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Late Blight of Tomato - News from the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab

Senior Diagnostician Gail Ruhl from the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic lab (PPDL) sent out this message concernting Late Blight on Tomato...... The PPDL has had two questions pertaining to Late Blight on Tomato today. This disease has not been confirmed in the Midwest so far this year. We are putting together a picture of the week to provide info on this recent development in the NORTHEAST states but in the meantime here is some information for you.

Tomato plants infected with late blight (causal organism Phytophthora infestans) have been shipped to large retail stores throughout the Northeast region of the country, from Ohio to Maine. The disease has been confirmed on tomatoes in New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Late blight is a very contagious disease that infects members of the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, sweet peppers, etc.). While the disease is not uncommon in home gardens it is rather unusual for tomatoes to be infected this early in the growing season.

Since there are many look-alike diseases on tomato leaves identification requires microscopic examination, not visual determination. Suspect samples should be submitted to the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab for confirmation. Diagnostic Service Fees for SUSPECT LATE BLIGHT CONFIRMNATION will be covered by our National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) funding.

Two pertinent links:Late Blight on Tomato Plants at Local Large Stores in Most States in the Northeast

Tomato Diseases and Disorders --

Tom Creswell and Gail RuhlPlant and Pest Diagnostic Lab

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Indiana Horticulture Congress

I can honestly say that this is the first entry to a blog that I have written...

Here it is July...county fair time... and you are probably nearing peak production time for many crops. I hope the High tunnels have buffered your production from some of the "irregular" weather that we have received this spring.

It is not too early to begin thinking about what subjects that you would like to learn more about to make your high tunnel as profitable as possible with the least amount of inputs.

We are in the early discussions about the content/presenters for a high tunnel session/sessions for the 2010 Indiana Horticulture Congress...While January seems like a long time from now my quick research shows that as of this writing Christmas is only 168 days 10 hours and 33 minutes away and Hort Congress is less than a month after that!

If you have High tunnel/season extension topics that you would like to learn more about and /or if you know of good presenters for those topics... we would like to know of them.

Hope that you have a productive and profitable July...

Remember that Indiana Market Maker can be a great tool to help connect with folks who want to buy fresh local Indiana products....and it's FREE!!!

Roy Ballard