August 26, 2005

Pumpkin field day is Sept. 8 in Belleville

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. --` Folks who grow pumpkins and those who think they might like to do so can pick up some tips on disease and insect management, herbicides, cover crops, production economics and other topics of interest at a free field day set for 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 8 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Belleville Research Center, located across from Scott Air Force Base's Mascoutah gate on State Route 161.

Researchers and extension specialists from SIUC and the University of Illinois will give short talks in morning and afternoon sessions, and tours of research plots will showcase pumpkin variety trials. A free lunch will be provided mid-day.

"We've been working with the University of Illinois for about three years now to hold pumpkin field days," said SIUC horticulturist S. Alan Walters.

"Pumpkins are grown from the southernmost tip of the state all the way to the top, so we try to rotate the location from north to central to south so that at least once every three years people can come to the event without a lot of inconvenience."

Those who have not been to SIUC's Metro East research center before will find it easy to reach from Interstate Highway 64. If coming east from the St. Louis area, take Exit 19, go south to State Route 161, turn left and drive roughly three miles; look for the entrance on the right. If coming west on Interstate 64, take Exit 23, go south on State Route 4, turn right at the intersection with Route 161, drive about two miles, and look for the entrance on the left.

For more information, call Walters at 618/453-3446 (e-mail him at or Elizabeth Wahle at 618/692-9434 (e-mail her at