December 10, 2023

Weed expert shares advice for Hoosier vegetable and fruit producers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Grain farmers aren’t the only ones that are preparing for the upcoming planting season. Vegetable and fruit growers are also looking toward the coming months and what they have to do on their operations to secure a successful harvest.

Stephen Meyers, an assistant professor in weed science at Purdue University, said one of the big factors that fruit and vegetable producers face is weed issues.

Meyers said some of the most common weeds that plague producers are any type of pigweed, waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, lambsquarters and morning glory.

The morning glory weed is especially troublesome for curcubit growers, as well as tomato producers, because the weed vines around the plant and can be very hard to remove, Meyers said.

This is why Meyers said fruit and vegetable producers need to really consider implementing an integrated weed management program.

Not a lot of herbicides are labeled for use on produce products, Meyers said.

One of the most important things producers can do is scout their fields and be aware of any sprouting weed problems and which fields might be problematic later on in the growing season.

Another important thing producers can do, Meyers said, is to practice good sanitation, which includes cleaning equipment in between each use.

Ashley Estes

Ashley Estes

Field Editor