Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center (SWPAC)

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 research site in Gibson County. Purdue relocated research operations 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 Us

Jon Leuck
Director, Purdue Agricultural Centers and Project Coordinator
615 Mitch Daniels Blvd
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2053
Phone: (765) 494-8368

Alex Helms
Assistant Director, Purdue Agricultural Centers 
615 Mitch Daniels Blvd
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2053
Phone: (765) 494-8367

Dennis Nowaskie
Superintendent, Southwest-Purdue Agricultural Center 
4669 North Purdue Road
Vincennes, IN 47591
Phone: (812) 886-9661


  • Home to the Southwest Purdue Ag Program (SWPAP)
  • Five greenhouses used to grow transplants
  • Swamp cooled greenhouse
  • Three high tunnels
  • Two diagnostic and research laboratories
  • Horticultural cold storage coolers
  • Capability of variety testing for seed companies as well as fungicide and insecticide testing for agribusinesses
  • Summer workforce to plant, maintain, harvest crops and collect data
  • Onsite plant pathologist, horticulturist/vegetable specialist 
  • 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/Cummins/Heavy Diesel Technology teaching facility on site


Although SWPAC is the smallest PAC 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 is not limited to testing on muskmelon and watermelon varieties, strawberries, 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 and table grapes including viniferous varieties. 

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, hemp and canola as well as nitrogen rate and micro-nutrients.  

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.  

Can-Am & Purdue University College of Agriculture Partnership

PAC Events

PAC Events

farmers on edge of field during training day
2024 Field Days & Training Events

Field Days. The Purdue Agricultural Centers (PACS) will be offering public field days, workshops, and other events in 2024. These events provide educational opportunities for commodity producers, crop/livestock advisers, and others seeking...

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