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.