Rushville Republican

Agriculture

February 7, 2014

Midwest mint growers to meet Feb. 27-28 in northern Indiana

WEST LAFAYETTE - Midwest mint growers will gather Feb. 27-28 in Plymouth to learn about a variety of production and use topics related to this specialty oil crop.

The Midwest Mint Growers Meeting is sponsored by the Office of Agricultural Research at Purdue, Purdue Extension and the Indiana Mint Market Development and Research Council. It will be at Swan Lake Resort, 5203 Plymouth-LaPorte Trail.

Mint, grown for the oils produced in its leaves and stems, is used to flavor oral hygiene products, chewing gum, candy and pharmaceuticals. Indiana ranks third in the nation in spearmint production and fourth in peppermint production.

“The annual Midwest Mint Growers Meeting provides a great opportunity for growers of this oil crop to hear and learn from university researchers and specialists who are actively involved in addressing production issues,” said Jerry Fankhauser, meeting organizer, administrator for the council and director of the Purdue Agricultural Centers. “This meeting also provides a great venue for Indiana mint growers to meet and visit with growers from other states, such as Wisconsin and Michigan, which is really important when dealing with the production challenges of growing a unique crop.”

The two-day program will start with a welcome from Dan Gumz, president of the Indiana Mint Market Development and Research Council. A banquet will be held that evening with an address by Mike Hoffman, chief meteorologist for WNDU-TV in South Bend. The workshops will wrap up with midday state grower meetings Feb. 28.

Educational talks will be offered both days. Among the topics are the use of new herbicides and insecticides in mint, proper sprayer tank use and maintenance and a marketing update from an oil buyer’s perspective.

Presenters are:

* From Purdue University: Ralph Green, professor emeritus of botany and plant pathology; Steve Weller, professor of horticulture; Fred Whitford, coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs; and Chris Hurt, professor of agricultural economics.

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