Pumpkin and cowpea advice at Twilight Meeting finale

A common question for Southern Illinois pumpkin growers is how much nitrogen should be applied to pumpkins. The short answer is it depends on soil type. Extension staff members have researched variable rates and application techniques. They welcome questions at 618-687-1727.

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — A bounty of information about all kinds of produce which thrive in southern Illinois capped off the fifth season of the University of Illinois Extension’s Southern Illinois Twilight Meetings.

On Aug. 19, dozens of folks gathered at Extension’s Murphysboro location to learn more about field trials, research and general advice on pumpkins, cowpeas, asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, high tunnel production and more.

While the evening was led by educator Nathan Johanning, the region’s small farms, agronomy and other ag-related staff also were on hand to dole out free advice and guidance.

Even Bryan Shupe of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service was on hand to share details and answer questions about the service’s EQIP matching grant program in regard to high tunnel construction projects.

This free meeting concluded a season that included visits to Double Star Farms in Benton, Mileur Orchards in Murphysboro and Dixon Springs Agricultural Research Center in Simpson.

Extension staff organized these on-site visits to offer hands-on opportunities to learn more about specialty crops production, but also marketing, business practices, food safety issues and other information essential for successful small farm operations.

The meetings typically run monthly from May to August. Watch for announcements at Unit 26’s new website, https://extension.illinois.edu/fjprw.

Karen Binder can be reached at kbinder@agrinews-pubs.com or 618-534-0614. Follow her on Twitter: @AgNews_Binder.

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