Research and Education Project, Region: North Central. The management of watermelon vine decline through sustainable management practices
Stakeholder input has been give to the project in the form of a meeting on September 7, 2006. The experiment was designed from this input. The plots have been laid out and the cover crops planted.
A grower meeting was held on September 7, 2006 to discuss the treatment options given in the proposal. The treatments decided on by the grower committee are given below.
• Although paper mulch was an option in this proposal, the growers decide that given the added expensive, paper mulch would not truly be sustainable. In addition, growers were concerned that the paper would not stretch over the raised beds. It was decided to put in a small demonstration on the next year to see how well paper mulch works.
• The cover crops selected were, canola, rye and a bare ground control. Although hairy vetch has shown promise in some studies, this plant has been a weed problem in many fields and growers were reluctant to use it. Canola has the advantage that growers have some familiarity with it as a crop plant already.
• Growers were enthusiastic about two possible biological control products: BioYield and T22. These will be incorporated into the experimental design.
Shortly after the grower meeting on September 7, the experimental plots were flagged and on October 1, 2006 the cover crop treatments described above were planted.
The grower meeting specified in the proposal to solicit input into the project was held on September 7, 2006. Grower input has been solicited and incorporated into the experimental design. Perhaps more important, grower interest is high.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Although it is early to have any impact or outcomes directly attributable to this project, all objectives and performance targets are on schedule. Stakeholders were critical in soliciting and funding the proposal. Now these same stakeholders have been involved in the design and implementation of the project itself. An article will appear in a spring issue of the Purdue University Vegetable Crops Hotline to describe the progress of this project.
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