Southwest Purdue Ag Program
The Southwest Purdue Agriculture Program is based in Vincennes, IN at the Southwest Purdue Agriculture Center and was established in 1990 to provide extension support for growers in the southern region of the state. The team is comprised of three individuals: Dan Egel, vegetable pathologist, (Vacant), vegetable specialist, and Charles Mansfield, agronomy specialist. Vegetable production, specifically cantaloupe and watermelon, is the major focus of the SWPAP team. Combined, watermelons and cantaloupes are grown on nearly 10,000 acres in the state, with the majority of the acreage in southwest Indiana. Annually watermelon and cantaloupe are valued at nearly $50 million. The creation of the program continues to allow for research based extension information to be developed and delivered to vegetable and agronomic crop farmers in this region with similar environmental conditions and soil types. A recent addition to the program is the high tunnel project focused on developing practical information for this type of production system which is rapidly expanding in the state and the U.S. as a whole. Some recent projects are vegetable variety evaluation, fungicide trials for cucurbit and solanaceous vegetables, rootstock evaluation for vegetable grafting, fertility management of vegetables, variety disease resistance evaluation, and canola trials.
Annual seedless watermelon variety trial at the Southwest Purdue Agriculture Center
Commercial cataloupe production in Southwest Indiana