Bruce Bordelon

Professor of Horticulture
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Area(s) of Interest: Grapes and Small Fruit
Bruce Bordelon's website

89 articles by this author

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North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association member Trellis Growing Systems recently won a USDA-AMS Local Foods Promotion Program grant to do a feasibility study for an IQF (individually quick frozen) processing facility to service Midwest berry growers. The facility would be in Circleville, OH.  They have created a survey through PollDaddy to try to determine grower interest, berry volumes, pricing, etc. If you are a grower in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, or Kentucky, please take their survey!    

Early spring is a good time to make the first herbicide application of the year. There are several options for fruit crops including both pre- and post-emergent herbicides. See the weed control chapter in the 2018 Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide for a complete list of products. In most situations, there will be some emerged weeds present in the planting at this time of the year. These could be winter annuals, perennials, or recently germinated summer annuals. A post-emergent herbicide can be used to control those established weeds. A pre-emergent material can be tank mixed at this time to provide residual weed control. However, most pre-emergent herbicides will provide only 6 to 8 weeks of control as they break down in the environment. So, if applied in very early spring, they may not provide sufficient control of summer grasses (foxtail, barnyard grass, goosegrass, crabgrass, etc.). If those are weeds on[Read More…]

Blackberry dormant

It has been a cool spring so far and most fruit crops are still relatively dormant in the Lafayette area. Early grapes are just at bud swell, red raspberries are also showing signs of growth, sweet cherry buds are swelling, and early apples are at silver tip. Fruit trees in Lafayette remain dormant, however are pushing forward in more southern areas of the state. In southern Indiana apples are at or past full bloom and peaches are in shuck split. Blackberries are at half-inch green.

May 7, 2018 Purdue Wine Grape Team “From Grape to Glass” Byler Lane Winery 5858 County Road 35, Auburn, IN 46706 Contact Jill Blume June 26, 2018 Indiana Hort Society Summer Field Day Garwood Orchard, LaPorte, IN Contact Lori Jolly-Brown ljollybr@ October 17, 2018 Indiana Flower Growers Conference Daniel Turf Center Contact Lori Jolly-Brown ljollybr@ January 8, 2019 Illiana Vegetable Growers Symposium. Teibel’s Family Restaurant, Schererville, IN Contact Liz Maynard February 12-14, 2019 Indiana Hort Congress. Indianapolis Marriott East Indianapolis, IN Contact Lori Jolly-Brown, or 765-494-1296  

Cherry flower buds

This winter was significantly colder than normal in the northern half of Indiana. Many areas north of “I-70” experienced temperatures between -15 and -20˚F in early January. That is cold enough to cause considerable cold injury to grapes, peaches, and blackberries. Ten below zero is a commonly accepted threshold for seeing damage to cold sensitive crops.  In Lafayette, we had a minimum winter temperature of -19˚F on Jan. 2, but also had three other mornings when temperature reached -17˚F. We have evaluated fruit crops at the Meigs Horticulture Research Farm in Lafayette and found considerable injury. Peach flower buds appear to be 100% dead. Most blackberry cultivars appear to be severely injured, but raspberries appear to be fine. With brambles, damage occurs to the cambium in the canes rather than the buds. Sweet cherries have some minor damage, but should have plenty of live flowers for a full crop. Apples[Read More…]

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FieldWatch is an easy-to-use, reliable, accurate and secure on-line mapping tool intended to enhance communications that promote awareness and stewardship activities between producers of specialty crops, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators. Originally developed at Purdue University, FieldWatch is now a non-profit company with support from producers, applicators, agricultural chemical companies and other organizations. The program allows specialty crop producers and beekeepers to enter their locations on a secure on-line map. The map is viewed by pesticide applicators so they know what crops are in the area they intend to treat. All you need to do to sign up is visit and follow the easy tutorials under the resources tab. Once you have an account, you should be asked to update your FieldWatch (DriftWatch) information each year. If you have not heard from FieldWatch recently, log on to to update your account information. The service is free. You can purchase signs[Read More…]

The Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide is updated each year by the Midwest Fruit Workers group to provide the most complete information and recommendations for controlling weeds, diseases and insect pests of all major fruit crops grown in the Midwest. For the past three years, the guide has combined information on tree fruit, small fruit and grapes. There are many revisions in this year’s version as there have been a number of label changes by manufacturers and several new products registered. The guide is valuable resource for all fruit growers as it keeps them up to date on the latest products, registrations and recommendations. Be sure to get a new copy before the spray season starts. The guide is available from the Purdue Education Store in print format for $15 plus shipping and handling at: Copies will also be available at some of our workshops and summer meetings. It[Read More…]

If  you sold, or normally do you sell, more than $1000 worth of agricultural products in a year then it is your responsibility to fill out the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture.  USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs a Census of Agriculture response from ALL the nation’s producers. In order to get an accurate representation of American agriculture – of all farmers and ranchers across the country – NASS will continue to accept completed census questionnaires through spring. NASS has heard that some producers need extra time due to planting, bad weather, or gathering documents for taxes and the census. All operations are important and every response matters. NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to be represented in these widely-used data. We must communicate and paint an accurate picture of our agricultural industry in order to garner support from the public and legislature. Federal law mandates that[Read More…]

The proper time to remove straw from matted row strawberries is when the bare-soil temperature at 4 inches averages about 40-43˚F. This usually coincides with mid to late March in central Indiana. This year is later than average with soil temperatures still in the 40s.  Plants will begin pushing new leaves as the soil temperatures rise steadily so the straw should be raked off the tops of the beds and into the row middles. Leaving some straw on top of the beds for plants to grow up through provides a clean surface for fruit. Straw should be removed from beds before the plants grow enough to cause yellowing of foliage. Allowing the leaves to become etiolated (yellowed with long petioles) due to late straw removal can reduce yields by as much as 25%. However, uncovering the plants early may promote early growth and increase chances of frost or freeze injury.[Read More…]