Welcome to the Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory
…Physiology …Quality …Efficiency
Serving many communities — agricultural, scientific, educational, economic development, food and human health…
Contributing to the discovery and use of improved crop management tools and techniques…
Building on the cornerstone of stakeholder-driven horticultural science…
We work on a systems basis to strengthen vegetable farms and businesses, to aid peers and to increase product value to end-users and consumers.
The Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory conducts research in fields managed by The OSU and Laboratory personnel in Wooster, Celeryville, and Fremont, OH. Other studies are conducted on the farms of grower-cooperators located throughout the state. These fields are managed using conventional, sustainable and certifiable-organic approaches.
The Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory employs nine high tunnels in its work. All of the high tunnels are located at the OARDC in Wooster, OH. Six of the high tunnels measure 21 ft wide x 48 ft long and three measure 30 ft wide x 80 ft long. Four of the six small high tunnels were built by Laboratory personnel in Spring 2003, the remaining two were built by a local contractor in Fall 2009 and all six are managed using certifiable-organic methods. All three large high tunnels were raised by a local contractor in Fall 2009 and one is managed using certifiable-organic methods. All high tunnels have been indispensable in related research and extension activities.
The Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory regularly employs up to two thousand square feet of climate-controlled greenhouse space (all located at the OARDC in Wooster, OH) in its work. Greenhouse space is used in routine activities such as seed, cutting and transplant production and in research requiring the unique combination of scale and environmental control available only in a greenhouse. Conventional and certifiable-organic methods are used in the management of these greenhouse spaces.
The Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory employs reach- or walk-in Conviron Growth Chambers located at the OARDC in Wooster, OH when required. The scale of growth chamber studies is typically small but much can be learned through them. In our experience, growth chamber activities spark follow-up work completed in greenhouses, high tunnels, and open fields (including on farms). Growth chamber studies also help answer questions left open in research conducted in less-controlled settings.
Laboratory-based, benchtop analysis of samples collected in all other research settings is key to the Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory. This analysis allows us to describe the influence of pre-harvest management on crop physiology and quality, especially chemical makeup. A wide range of standard and advanced equipment and instrumentation is available in the home laboratory and at other facilities at the OARDC in Wooster, OH.
Offices of The Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory are located in Gourley Hall on the campus of the OARDC in Wooster, OH (map).
Partners and Sponsors
Commercial vegetable and industrial crop production offers many opportunities. However, paths to obtaining the full benefits of the process are often blocked by complex barriers. A multifaceted, team approach that integrates the talents and knowledge of many people is required to shrink these barriers. With each improvement in commercial cropping systems, farmers, many other people and the environment profit. The VPSL is pleased to collaborate with individuals, groups, businesses and organizations near and far to meet that overall goal.
That effort involves integrated research and extension activities and sponsorship. Below are the logos of a cross-section of sponsors of Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory activities.