Here are some of the ongoing and previously completed research projects that are being conducted by faculty associated with the sustainable vegetable production program at the University of Kentucky. Our research projects feature both conventional and organic production systems and include the following: organic management of cucumber beetles and squash bugs, conservation tillage of vegetable crops, irrigation management of vegetables, and variety trial evaluations for conventional and organically managed vegetables. Click on the links below for more information about each project.
|Water management is key for all vegetable growers. In Kentucky, most vegetable producers grow a variety of crops, most of them using drip irrigation. For the past several years a faculty in Horticulture, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, and Agricultural Economics have been trialing innovative management strategies for improving the efficiency of drip irrigation for diversified vegetable production. Using soil moisture-based irrigation we have shown that we can reduce water usage substantially compared to traditional Et-based methods. Read more…..|
|Organic production of many cucurbit crops is a serious challenge for growers in Kentucky. The striped and spotted cucumber beetle can wreak havoc on cucurbit plantings through feeding activity and spreading bacterial wilt of cucurbits. Squash bugs are another key pest for their devastating feeding habits and ability to vector cucurbit yellow vine decline. In a partnership with Iowa State University and the Pennsylvania State University, faculty in the departments of Horticulture and Entomology at the University of Kentucky are developing better ways of organic cucurbit production. Read more……|
|Conservation tillage is widely used in grain crops across the U.S. It has been trialed in vegetables for many years as well. Pumpkin and sweet corn growers have successfully used strip tillage and no tillage production for a number of years. Conservation tillage for vegetable makes sense as it improves soil quality and reduces plastic mulch use. However, while much research has been conducted, there is still room for improvements to conservation tillage in vegetables. Recently we have initiated a project comparing water use efficiency in plastic mulch and strip tillage production systems. Read more…..|
|Variety selection is critical for vegetable farmers. Whether you a large scale wholesale grower who needs a product that can withstand the rigors of shipping or a farmer who sells direct to the consumer and need specific flavors and colors, variety selection is critical. Every year we conduct variety trials for many different vegetables to help growers make informed unbiased decisions. The results from the most recent trials from the past several years are presented here……|
Powdery Mildew Resistence in Pumpkins
Powdery mildew is a serious disease of pumpkins in Kentucky. Resistance to powdery mildew and yield were evaluated in 30 varieties of pumpkin in 2008 and 2009. Plots were not sprayed with fungicide in either year.
Past Projects that have been completed include: developing sweetpotato and onion production systems for small farms in Kentucky, determining the efficacy of calcium chloride applications for improvements in storage life of tomato, paper mulch evaluations, and high tunnel demonstrations in Kentucky