Source: PURDUE UNIVERSITY submitted to
SPECIALTY CROPS RESEARCH, EXTENSION, AND TEACHING CENTER AT SOUTHWEST PURDUE AGRICULTURAL CENTER
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0219233
Grant No.
2009-34623-20285
Project No.
IND011879G
Proposal No.
2009-04170
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
DD-F
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2009
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2012
Grant Year
2009
Project Director
Jordan, T. N.
Recipient Organization
PURDUE UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
WEST LAFAYETTE,IN 47907
Performing Department
Horticulture
Non Technical Summary
The proposed Purdue University Specialty Crop Research, Extension, and Teaching Center will enhance Indiana's economy, quality of life, and environment. Investment in specialty crop research, education, and marketing is critical for the maintenance and expansion of these crops as a vital component of Indiana agriculture, particularly, in the southwestern part of the state, which has unique agroecological characteristics for growing specialty crops. Additionally, such investments will serve as an engine for economic growth by generating new opportunities, diversifying production systems, reducing impacts of production practices on the environment and improving the nutritional quality of diets. Specialty crops grown in Indiana include a variety of horticultural crops such as fruits and nuts, vegetables, ornamentals and organic agronomic crops, including new crops such as botanicals and medicinals. Importantly, the geographic and climatic conditions in southwest Indiana make it ideal for fruit and vegetable production as well as greenhouse production of nursery crops. Expanded capacity there would fill a production niche between crops grown in Florida and Arizona from the south and Wisconsin and Michigan from the north. Furthermore, approximately 40% of the nation's population lives within a 500-mile radius of Vincennes and Evansville, making same-day distribution of fresh produce and floricultural crops feasible. With an increase in specialty crop production, there will be a need for a well-educated, technically savvy workforce. Purdue University has had a long partnership with Vincennes University, and together the two institutions could offer degrees, courses, and training to prepare students to enter the workforce, thereby enhancing economic development and jobs creation in the region. Purdue University has a long-term presence in southwest Indiana with its Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center (SWPAC) located at Vincennes. This Center has maintained two to three research and Extension staff who have supported the fruit and vegetable industry, primarily melons and stone fruit. They have also worked with Vincennes University's agriculture program to teach courses and to train students at SWPAC in production management practices. The opportunities to promote production, processing and marketing of specialty crops in southwest Indiana have only been met partially, and the potential for enhancement of such efforts is tremendous, with its concomitant significant impact on the economy of the region. The emphasis on specialty crops and local production will become even more important as increasing energy costs limit availability of affordable and fresh produce from distant locations. Expanding the capacity of the SWPAC will serve as the research and extension engine that will drive the growth of specialty crop production in southwest Indiana, while the processing and marketing of specialty crops will greatly increase the overall economic growth of the region.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2042410113020%
2042410116020%
2052410113020%
2052410116020%
6042410301020%
Goals / Objectives
The Special Grant will be used to assist the initiation of specialty crops research at SWPAC. The research program will be integral to a comprehensive program of research, teaching, and extension at SWPAC focusing on specialty crops. Creation of the Specialty Crop Research, Extension, and Teaching Center would require expanding the staffing and physical facilities of the existing SWPAC to include additional personnel in production, processing and marketing of specialty crops, and working with the private/public sector to promote southwestern grown produce and floriculture products and develop a unique industry that can reach markets in most of the eastern United States. Our short term vision is to establish a network of Purdue and Vincennes faculty and private/public collaborators to enhance the opportunities to produce and promote specialty crops in southwest Indiana. At present, this area of Indiana is noted for its melon and stone fruit production. There is an opportunity for growth in vegetable, and greenhouse production as well as the wine grape industry. The Specialty Crops Center will start with these crops and offer additional educational opportunities to students at Vincennes and to producers and their employees. From a research and perspective, the center will address production needs, and also offer entrepreneurial help to potential producers and processors with business plans, feasibility studies and marketing tools. Our long term vision is to create a world class center for specialty crop research, teaching and extension that expands the production, processing, and marketing of specialty crops that greatly enhances the economic opportunities for this region. It will require enhancing the existing physical facilities and infrastructure and staffing. Ultimately, the center will have a staff of 8 to 10 individuals, along with support staff and county educators, who will work with the on-campus faculty at Purdue and those at Vincennes to address the production, processing, marketing and educational needs of this sector of agriculture. The center will also develop courses and training in partnership with Vincennes University for students and others in the region to allow them to enter the local workforce and grow the industry within the region, rather than leave the state and promote this industry elsewhere. We expect that the partnership between Purdue and Vincennes will result in not only a closer working relationship to address the problems relevant to the region, but also result in creating a ¿feeder¿ program for Vincennes students to be admitted for studies at Purdue in West Lafayette. Finally, the expanded staff and facility would afford local citizens better excess to Purdue University¿s resources and specialists to assist them with their business planning and marketing needs as well as technical assistance with the manufacturing needs.
Project Methods
Our short-term approach is to establish a network of Purdue and Vincennes faculty and private and public collaborators to enhance the opportunities to produce and promote specialty crops in southwest Indiana. At present, this area of Indiana is noted for its melon and stone fruit production. There is an opportunity for growth in vegetable and greenhouse production as well as the wine grape industry. The Specialty Crops Center will start with these crops and offer additional educational opportunities to students at Vincennes and to producers and their employees. The Center will address production needs, from both research and extension perspectives, and will also offer entrepreneurial help to potential producers and processors with business plans, feasibility studies and marketing tools. The first year of this project will be devoted to the development of infrastructure and the hiring of appropriate personnel. Physical facilities will be upgraded with new greenhouse lighting, and two high-tunnel greenhouse structures will be constructed. The Specialty Crops Production Specialist will purchase minor equipment to setup the laboratory to begin research efforts. Several new research and Extension positions will be added to the Specialty Crops Plant Pathology position presently at the research center, including: a Specialty Crops Production Specialist, a Master's level graduate student, and a field assistant. Additionally, a Specialty Crops Breeding and Genetics position, a Specialty Crops Entomologist position, and a Specialty Crops Production position recently have been created at the West Lafayette campus. These individuals will work with the staff at SWPAC. The College of Agriculture will request that the research and Extension effort at the SWPAC be named an official University Research and Extension Center for Specialty Crops. During the second year, field and laboratory research will be underway to address the local production needs of the specialty crops grown in southwestern Indiana, primarily melons, apples, stone fruit, grapes, and fresh market vegetables. The Vegetable Marketing Economist will conduct a marketing analysis of the potential for specialty crop growth in the area for both wholesale and local marketing. The Purdue Extension Small Farms and Sustainable Agricultural Team and the Extension Entrepreneurial Team, both working with the staff at Vincennes University will conduct outreach programs in specialty crops production, processing and marketing of local grown specialty crops. During the third year, the Specialty Crops Center will be fully staffed, and research and Extension outreach programs will be ongoing. The collaborative efforts of the SWPAC Specialty Crops Center and Vincennes University will be offering help with production needs as well as business plans and feasibility studies. Vincennes University students will be offered classes in specialty crop production and marketing.

Progress 09/01/09 to 08/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: All three high tunnels purchased are now completely built as of December 2012. Two of the three were completed in January of 2012 which allowed for the first full year of research and crop growth. A replicated tomato variety evaluation trial was conducted from March - July 2012. This project was part of a cooperative project with faculty on campus in which the experiment was replicated in two locations. Results of this project are in preparation for submission to a refereed journal (HortTechnology). The second half of 2012 allowed for a fall specialty cucumber variety evaluation trial. This will be replicated in 2013 for future submission of manuscript to a refereed journal. In addition, results from both projects will be presented to Indiana specialty crop growers at the Indiana Horticulture Congress in January of 2013. Watermelon and muskmelon variety evaluations have been conducted annually since 2010. Information developed from this research is beneficial for the local industry as variety is important to successful melon production. Particularly, traits such as fruit quality and susceptibility to biotic and abiotic diseases are important. Grafting of triploid watermelon is a non-chemical means of disease management. Non-chemical means become increasingly important when no economically effective management options are available. This is the case with pathogens like Fusarium Wilt. In 2010 and 2011, rootstocks were evaluated for grafting in triploid watermelon for disease resistance and crop vigor. Organically produced fruits and vegetables have steadily increased in sales and are a niche market. Further heirloom organically produced vegetables are becoming increasingly popular. Based on this, in 2012, a collaborative project with specialists and extension educators was established. The project consisted of evaluating organic production practices for heirloom tomato production. PARTICIPANTS: Nathan Kleczewski, postdoc, worked on the project from Oct. 2010 - May 2012. TARGET AUDIENCES: On July, 12, 2012, A field day was held at the SW Purdue Ag. Center. 65 people attended the field day. Highlighted on the tour were grapes and trees for biomass, high tunnels and vegetables and agronomic crops. Over 90 percent of attendees said they would share information learned at the field day with a neighbor. Nearly, 3/4 of attendees said that they would change something about their operation as a result of the program. 40 individuals attended the High tunnels and Vegetable tour and over 95 percent of these attendees said they learned something from the tour. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
High tunnel educational programming has been organized and presented annually from 2010 - 2013 at the Indiana Horticulture Congress. Information has reached over 120 specialty crop growers over the past three years. Funding has allowed us not only to provide these educational sessions, but to also supplement with speakers from areas outside the state. On July, 12, 2012, A field day was held at the SW Purdue Ag. Center. 65 people attended the field day. Highlighted on the tour were grapes and trees for biomass, high tunnels and vegetables and agronomic crops. Over 90% of attendees said they would share information learned at the field day with a neighbor. Nearly, 3/4 of attendees said that they would change something about their operation as a result of the program. 40 individuals attended the High tunnels and Vegetable tour and over 95 percent of these attendees said they learned something from the tour. This tour highlighted many of the improvements and areas of learning concerned directly with this grant. This was partially funded by an additional grant from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to specifically focus programming on high tunnel crop production in the state. Timeline: Nathan Kleczewski arrived in Oct of 2010. He left in May of 2012.

Publications

  • Egel, D.S., Ruhl, G, and Creswell, T. 2010. Late blight of Tomato and Potato. BP-80-W.
  • Egel D.S. and Martyn, R, 2010. Mature Watermelon Vine Decline and Similar Diseases of Cucurbits. BP-65-W.
  • Saha, S.K., 2010. Evaluation of diploid watermelon varieties for production in southwest Indiana, 2010. Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2010.
  • Saha, S.K. and D. Egel, 2010. Evaluation of triploid personal size watermelon varieties for production in southwest Indiana, 2010. Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2010.
  • Saha, S.K. and D. Egel, 2010. Evaluation of muskmelon varieties for production in southwest Indiana, 2009. Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2009 pg. 63-66.
  • Egel, D., S.K. Saha, S. Johnson, S. Monroe, D. Nowaskie, and M. Restrepo, 2010. Evaluation of OMRI-approved fungicides for the control of powdery mildew of zucchini, 2010. Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2010.
  • Egel, D.S. 2010. Gummy Stem Blight of Muskmelon and Watermelon. BP-142-W.
  • Egel, D.S. 2010. Anthracnose of Cucumber, Muskmelon and Watermelon. BP-180-W.
  • Kleczewski, N. M. and D.S. Egel. 2011. Sanitation for Disease and Pest Management. HO-250-W.
  • Kleczewski, N.M. and D.S. Egel. 2011. Fungicide Resistance Management for Indiana Vegetables. BP-183-W.
  • Egel, D., S.K. Saha, S. Johnson, S. Monroe, D. Nowaskie, and M. Restrepo, 2011. Evaluation of OMRI-approved Products for Disease Management of Muskmelon 2011. Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2011.
  • Egel, D., S.K. Saha, S. Johnson, S. Monroe, D. Nowaskie, and M. Restrepo, 2011. Evaluation of OMRI-approved Fungicides for the Control of Powdery Mildew of Zucchini 2011. Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2011.
  • Saha, S.K., 2010. Evaluation of muskmelon varieties for production in southwest Indiana, 2010. Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2010.
  • Saha, S.K. and D. Egel, 2010. Evaluation of seedless watermelon varieties for production in southwest Indiana, 2010. Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2010.
  • Egel, D., S.K. Saha, S. Johnson, S. Monroe, D. Nowaskie, and M. Restrepo, 2010. Evaluation of OMRI-approved products for the disease management of muskmelon, 2010. Midwest Vegetable Trial Report for 2010.
  • Kleczewski, N. and D.S. Egel. 2011. A Diagnostic Guide for Fusarium wilt of Watermelon. Online. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094 PHP-2011-01-DG.


Progress 09/01/09 to 08/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The high tunnel structures are nearly operational, needing only ventilation and covering material for one of the three units. Additionally, an internal grant proposal was awarded $6,300 for tillage equipment for use in high tunnels. Seven experiments were conducted in 2010 including: (a) evaluation of cucurbit rootstocks for grafting in triploid watermelon production, (b) rate and timing of nitrogen application in triploid watermelon in plasticulture, (c) organic fungicide trial for powdery mildew in cucurbits, and (d) four melon variety evaluation trials. Dr. Nathan Kleczewski has been hired as a post-doctoral associate to study the seed-borne nature of Fusarium wilt in watermelon, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. niveum (FON). Dr. Kleczewski has identified three research focal areas: (a) controls over FON cryptic infection of and movement into seeds of watermelon, (b) greenhouse practices aimed at reducing or removing FON infection in the greenhouse, and (c) greenhouse practices that improve watermelon establishment and health through natural means. Area 1: Movement of FON throughout tissues of watermelon can only be monitored through tagging the fungus. Four races of FON have been successfully tagged. Single spore isolations of cultures of parent isolates were conducted and re-grown on nutrient rich media. These single spore colonies were re-plated on to a media containing a toxic analog of nitrate, which forced mutations in portions of the isolates that were insensitive to this compound and therefore may not use nitrate. Thus far, all isolates of Race-0 and Race-2, have been experimentally inoculated onto the susceptible watermelon cultivar Black Diamond and have demonstrated similar growth and virulence as their wild type counterparts. Area 2: An isolate of the well-studied non-pathogenic FO, CS-20 has been procured from Dr. Deborah Fravel of the USDA. We will develop an isolate of Penicillium oxalicum, which has been demonstrated to significantly reduce FO wilt in tomato. Asymptomatic Black Diamond watermelons have been sampled for endophytic bacteria and fungi. Thus far, we have isolated Psuedomonas flourescens from the soil, as well as Trichoderma and an unidentified fungus growing endophytically in plant tissues. These organisms were not present in symptomatic plants. Area 3: Five watermelon fields have been sampled for soil, and the soil is being baited with sorghum and three watermelon cultivars to determine the abundance and diversity of AM fungi in watermelon fields, in addition to examining the ability of these fungi to colonize watermelon. Mentoring: Mentored Purdue University undergraduate student Dwayne Nowaskie on fertigation experiment teaching basics of research in an applied setting in triploid melon production. Events/Dissemination: (1) Variety Trial Technical Meeting- Presentation of results of the four melon variety trials to the Southwest Indiana Melon Association; (2) Great Lakes Working Group High Tunnel Webinar Series: Presentation: Biological Control of Arthropod Pests of vegetables in High Tunnels Services: Consulted with commercial melon producers regarding in-season management and associated problems. PARTICIPANTS: Mentored Purdue University undergraduate student Dwayne Nowaskie on fertigation experiment teaching basics of research in an applied setting in triploid melon production. TARGET AUDIENCES: Presentation of results of the four melon variety trials to the Southwest Indiana Melon Association; Great Lakes Working Group High Tunnel Webinar Series: Presentation: Biological Control of Arthropod Pests of vegetables in High Tunnels Services; Consulted with commercial melon producers regarding in-season management and associated problems. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Presentation regarding biological control at the GLVWG webinar series provided application information for producers new to using high tunnels for vegetable production an alternative to chemical pesticide application. Presentation regarding melon varieties as it is critical to choose the appropriate varieties to optimize yield, quality, and profit to ensure production is sustainable from a business perspective. Change associated with other research projects such as high tunnel production, grafting, and fertigation in triploid melons were in the first year of the study and require replication over several years before information can be disseminated for change of any sort.

Publications