June 19, 2007

Open house for new greenhouse June 22

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A recently completed greenhouse at the Southwest Purdue University Agricultural Center will have an open house from 2-6 p.m. on June 22.

"The purpose of the greenhouse is to do research on mature watermelon vine decline and other diseases that occur in Indiana," said Daniel Egel, Purdue Extension plant pathologist.

Mature watermelon vine decline causes the roots to rot and the vines to die before harvest, which kills watermelon plants before the fruit can be sold. Since the cause of mature watermelon vine decline is unknown, the Illiana Watermelon Association raised money for research to help growers avoid this disease.

 "The greenhouse is the only one at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center that is of a solid polycarbonate construction and the only one to have evaporative cooling," Egel said.

An auction in March 2006 raised funds for building the greenhouse. Growers who donated part of their 2006 crop for the auction to raise money for research include Dexter Bloebaum, David Coates, Bob Ellermann, Larry Ellermann, Paul and Arlen Ellerman, Anita Field, Jay Halter, Leger and Son, Arnold Mack, Melon Acres, Mouzin Brothers Farms, Jim and John Stevens, Wabash Valley Growers, Kent Williams and Brad Wonning. The donated loads were purchased by Browning and Sons, Cato Foods, Indianapolis Fruit, Raymond Land and Dan Johnson.

The Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center is located one mile north of Vincennes on U.S. 41 at 4369 N. Purdue Road. For more information or questions, contact Egel at (812) 886-0198.

Writer: Elizabeth Fritz, (765) 494-8402, elfritz@purdue.edu

Source: Daniel Egel, (812) 886-0198, egel@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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