Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center

Size and Topography

  • 220 acres in Knox County north of Vincennes; 150 tillable acres, with about 90 used for research purposes
  • Sandier soils and climatic conditions suitable for melon and other horticultural and specialty crop production


SWPAC was established in 1979, when Purdue University purchased 175 acres from Hank DeBuisseret to replace a 78-acre sand horticulture farm in Gibson County. Purdue relocated the farm to Knox County to take advantage of water availability for research and to build working relationships with Vincennes University and the USDA. The university purchased an additional 45 acres from Steve Klein in 1992.​

Contact Information

Dennis Nowaskie southwest pac
Southwest-Purdue Agricultural Center
4669 North Purdue Road
Vincennes, IN 47591
Phone: 812-886-9661



  • Headquarters with meeting space
  • Farm shop
  • Home to the Southwest Purdue Ag Program (SWPAP)
  • Five transplant greenhouses
  • Research greenhouse
  • Three high tunnels
  • Two diagnostic and research laboratories
  • Horticultural coolers
  • Capability of variety testing for seed companies as well as fungicide and insecticide work for agribusinesses
  • Summer workforce to pick crops and collect data
  • Onsite plant pathologist, horticulturist/vegetable specialist and agronomist
  • Collection site IN-22 for National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) 
  • Collection site VIN140 for the Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET)
  • Knox County Extension office located on site
  • Vincennes University John Deere/Heavy Diesel Technology teaching facility on site
  • Southwest Purdue Ag Program
  • Knox County Extension Office
  • Weather Station Data
  • Vegetable Disease Information 

​Field Days & Training Events 

Current Research

Although SWPAC is the smallest farm in Purdue’s regional farm system, it is one of the most active in research on fruits and vegetables— crops primarily grown in southwestern Indiana. Projects focus on increasing horticultural and agronomic crop yields and quality while decreasing input expenditures, including  pesticides.  An example of an IPM (integrated pest management) program used at SWPAC is MELCAST, a weather-based disease forecasting program developed at Purdue University to manage fungicide applications of foliar diseases of cucurbit vegetables.

Research on vegetables includes, but not limited to testing on muskmelon and watermelon varieties, new specialty crop varieties,  new product testing of fungicides and insecticides for disease and insect control and organic vegetable production. Research is also conducted on growth and management of wine grapes including vinifera varities. 

Research is conducted on high value protected ag crops in three high tunnels located at SWPAC.

Row crop  research includes studies on weed and disease control, variety testing on corn, soybeans and canola as well as nitrogen rates.  

Departments in Purdue Agriculture that currently conduct research at SWPAC include Agronomy, Botany and Plant Pathology, Entomology, Forestry and Natural Resources and Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.  

Agricultural Research at Purdue, 615 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-8370

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