WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Vegetable growers and others interested in organic and sustainable production will learn about trials underway to improve productivity of these systems and see demonstrations of specialized equipment for small and mid-scale operations when they attend a tour of a Purdue University research farm Sept. 9.

The Vegetable Crops Research Twilight Tour will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Purdue’s Meigs Horticulture Research Farm on S. County Road 100 East, about nine miles south of Lafayette. The tour is free and open to the public.

Target audiences are vegetable growers, including experienced growers looking for ways to increase the productivity and sustainability of their operations and beginning vegetable growers seeking basic insight on equipment needs, developing crop rotation and pest management plans and sourcing adapted crop varieties.

The program also will benefit Purdue Extension educators and representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service interested in learning more about how to manage these systems.

“Members of the general community interested in organic and sustainable vegetable production also will find this program informative, helping them to better understand what goes into vegetable farming,” said Lori Hoagland, a Purdue Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture assistant professor who will be among presenters. The department is hosting the event.

Other presenters include Rick Foster and Ian Kaplan of the entomology department and Kevin Gibson of botany and plant pathology department. Topics to be covered:

* Vegetable breeding;

* Weed suppression by rodents and beneficial insects;

* Biodegradable mulches;

* Soil quality in high tunnels;

* Sorghum sudangrass as a method of summer weed suppression;

* Insecticide impacts on pollinating insects;

* Equipment demonstrations; and

* Future research needs for vegetable crops in Indiana.

For more information and to register, contact Jessica Garvert at jgarvert@purdue.edu.