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Purdue Extension updates guides for fruit and vegetable growers

Several updated resources from Purdue Extension will help fruit and vegetable growers stay on top of the latest crop management strategies and research.

The 2021 Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers (ID-56) is available online to download for free. This annual guide is a summary of currently suggested vegetable varieties, seeding rates, fertilizer rates, weed control, insect control and disease control measures for commercial growers. The online version found at mwveguide.org is searchable by crop, pest and control measures and is accessible on any platform from smartphone to desktop. The 2021 version of ID-56 will not be offered for sale as hard copies by Purdue Extension. Spirally bound copies of the guide may be ordered.

To supplement the guide, producers can subscribe to the Vegetable Crops Hotline. The hotline is updated every two weeks during the growing season with the latest crop management information. Growers may sign up for email notifications for free or subscriptions for a printed copy for $15 per year. Email notifications will include hot-topic notifications between issues.

The Midwest Vegetable Trial Reports are also available for free download. These reports provide yield and quality data based on field test results under different cropping conditions. Reports based on projects in 2020 include variety trial results for asparagus, peppers — bell, specialty, and chile — cantaloupe, pickling cucumber, summer squash and seedless watermelon. Cultural practice trials include no-till sweet corn and pumpkin after winter rye, nitrogen rates for pepper and tomato, and the use of low tunnels and grafting for watermelon production. Reports include work conducted at land-grant universities around the Midwest, including Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin and Purdue, as well as an independent researcher in Pennsylvania. Reports from previous years are available, and new reports will be added periodically (access reports).

New this year, presentations highlighting several of the variety trial reports are available on the Purdue Extension YouTube channel in the Midwest Vegetable Variety Trial Reports playlist. New resources for high tunnel producers include the High Tunnel Cucumber Production Guide,  cucumber grafting fact sheet, and the cucumber grafting video.

Entomologists Elizabeth Long and Laura Ingwell have increased their efforts to monitor pests of sweet corn and apples. They also added to the online video resources found on the Purdue Extension Entomology Vegetables playlist on YouTube.

Growers also can access the 2021-22 edition of the Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide. The guide is updated every other year to provide the most complete information and recommendations for controlling weeds, diseases and pests of all major fruit crops grown in the Midwest. Printed copies of the Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide are $15, and boxes of 10 are available for $135.

To supplement the guide, producers can subscribe to the Facts for Fancy Fruit newsletter. The newsletter is published regularly throughout the growing season and provides the latest crop management information.

To order Purdue Extension resources by phone, call 765-494-6794. For more information, visit Purdue Extension’s The Education Store.

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