Andrew Westfall column sig

The second Purdue Small Farm Educational Field Day, set for Aug. 1, will emphasize sustainability in small-scale fruit and vegetable production, in terms of plant health and business management.

Purdue’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture is hosting the event, which targets farmers of small-scale vegetable operations. This year’s field day will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and offers 10 educational sessions presented by Purdue agriculture faculty.

The Purdue University Student Farm, featured in the afternoon field day sessions, is a student-run operation that grows vegetables, herbs and flowers. The Student Farm serves as a tool for the education and promotion of responsible growing practices, product marketing and vegetable production.

A few session titles and topics include: “Scheduling Crops in High Tunnels,” “Cover Crop Choices,” “Solar Dryers for Postharvest Processing of Fruits and Vegetables” and much more.

The educational sessions will take place at the William H. Daniel Turfgrass and Diagnostic Center, 1340 Cherry Lane, West Lafayette. Lunch and afternoon demonstrations will be at the Purdue Student Farm, 1491 Cherry Lane, West Lafayette.

Those interested in attending may register at https://bit.ly/2NSgs7w. The registration fee is $20, with $10 for each additional attendee.

Also coming up will be the Purdue Hemp Field Day, which will be Friday, July 19, at the Meigs Purdue Ag Center (9101 S. Country Road 100 East, Lafayette). Sessions at the field day will include: “Licensing and Regulations around Hemp,” “Processing and Marketing,” “Planting and Harvesting Hemp,” Hemp Agronomic Practices” and “Pest Management.”

Currently, hemp can only be grown with a research license in Indiana; however, commercial production is expected to begin in 2020. Purdue researchers have planted test plots to study production factors such as expected yield, optimal soil conditions, effective nutrients, and pest and disease management. Several Indiana hemp farmers working as part of a research cooperative will share their experience with production.

This is a half-day program which will repeat itself in the afternoon with the morning session running from 8:15 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. and the afternoon program going from 1:00 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. The cost of the program is $30/person, with pre-registration required by July 17th by visiting the website: https://bit.ly/2IZ8IuY.