about the southwest Purdue ag program


The mission of the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Program is to maintain a safe, quality food supply and a healthy environment while supporting families and communities associated with the agricultural industry.

Southwest Purdue Agricultural Program​

​​The Southwest Purdue Agricultural Program is based in Vincennes, IN at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center and was established in 1990 to provide extension support for growers in the southern region of the state. The team is comprised of two individuals: a vegetable pathologist, to be hired soon and Wenjing Guan, vegetable specialist. Vegetable production, specifically cantaloupe and watermelon, is the major focus of the SWPAP team. Combined, watermelons and cantaloupes are grown on nearly 10,000 acres in the state, with the majority of the acreage in southwest Indiana. Annually watermelon and cantaloupe are valued at nearly $50 million. The creation of the program continues to allow for research based extension information to be developed and delivered to vegetable and agronomic crop farmers in this region with similar environmental conditions and soil types. A recent addition to the program is the high tunnel project focused on developing practical information for this type of production system which is rapidly expanding in the state and the U.S. as a whole. Some recent projects are vegetable variety evaluation, fungicide trials for cucurbit and solanaceous vegetables, rootstock evaluation for vegetable grafting, fertility management of vegetables, variety disease resistance evaluation, and canola trials.​

greenhouse plants
Watermelon, cantaloupe and tomato plants started in 
greenhouses for research.
watermelon trials plantation
Watermelon variety trials at the Southwest
Purdue Ag Center.


cantaloupe variety trial plantation
Cantaloupe variety trials at the Southwest
Purdue Ag Center.
Greenhouse plants (four rows)
Strawberries grown in a high tunnel located at the 
Southwest Purdue Ag Center.


Dr. Wenjing Guan
Dr. Wenjing Guan


Dr. Wenjing Guan's research and extension programs focus on developing and delivering sustainable vegetable and melon production practice that can increase efficiency and profitability of specialty crop production in Indiana. Her research projects include:

  • ​Watermelon and cantaloupe variety evaluation
  • Vegetable​ fertility management and fertilizer stimulant product evaluation
  • Vegetable grafting
  • Season extension with high tunnels