Aug. 18 Pumpkin Field Day Tackles Disease, New Varieties, Use of Drone Technology

Presenters and attendees interact during a Pumpkin Field Day event. (Photo by Ken Chamberlain)

SOUTH CHARLESTON, Ohio — This year’s Aug. 18 Pumpkin Field Day will offer growers valuable research updates regarding disease, insect and weed control as well as state-of-the-art demonstrations on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, for more efficient pest detection.

Organized by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, the event will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Western Agricultural Research Station, 7721 South Charleston Pike, in South Charleston, Ohio.

“The field day will feature some traditional stops, including an eight-treatment powdery mildew fungicide demonstration trial, a variety trial with 12 powdery mildew-resistant hybrids ranging from small to large fruit, and a downy mildew sentinel plot,” said Jim Jasinski, Ohio State University Extension educator and Integrated Pest Management program coordinator.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. The Western Agricultural Research Station is part of a statewide network of research farms run by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, which is the research arm of the college.

Attendees will also learn about new research on the use of multi-spectral imagery from cameras mounted on UAVs that can be flown over fields to help detect diseases such as powdery mildew and downy mildew on pumpkins and cucumbers, Jasinski said. This portion of the field day will include presentations from faculty in Ohio State’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as a short demonstration of a drone surveying a field.

State specialists will also be on hand to answer questions about disease, insect and weed control issues from farmers and crop consultants. In addition to pumpkins, the field day also addresses issues related to other important cucurbit crops such as cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe and watermelon.

Pre-registration for the field day is required by Aug. 15. There is a $5 per person fee, payable at the event. Registration includes handouts and liquid refreshments. To preregister, send an email to Jasinski at or leave a message on the research station’s voicemail at 937-462-8016.