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Green Indusrty Research Needs

This list is to inform you of the areas of research needs and their priority as suggested by the green industry. Research needs were suggested by a panel of nursery growers and professionals, and were ranked by participants as high (*****), medium (***) and low (*). .


Plant Specific Problems

***** Sterility - making invasive plants sterile (e.g. Chinese Elm)
***** Evaluation of cultivar selections within economically significant species for their invasiveness and environmental impact(s)
***** Evaluation of cultivar selections within economically significant species for compact size
***** Evaluation and development of invasive plant alternatives; including native plant material
***** Evaluation and development of plant material genetically tolerant of abiotic and biotic stress (e.g. conifers)
***** Evaluation and screening of ornamental species and cultivars within species for insect and disease resistance/tolerance. (e.g. rose rosette, leaf spot on ornamental grasses, oak diseases)
***** Development of a protocol for assessing drought tolerance of ornamental plant material in production and in landscape situations.
**** Evaluation of ornamental plant materials for deer herbivory preference
**** Evaluation of edible landscape plants (ex: blueberries) in nursery production and for landscape value/use.
** Evaluation and selection of tropicals– cold hardiness in containers, over-wintering, cool climate production protocols, guidelines
** Evaluating tissue culture procedures in economically important species.

Pest Management

***** Phytophthora, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Thielaviopsis management – best management practices; fungicide resistance
***** Fire Argentine and Crazy ants – insecticide longevity (shipping problem - need slow release product); rate of incorporation; control in fruit bearing crops, control in propagation
***** Degree-day pest schedules/models - link info to state weather sites; pest calendars
***** Downy mildew and Powdery mildew resistance management (fungicide resistance)
***** Pre and Post-emergent weed control in propagation and liner production
***** Wood boring insects (Asian Ambrosia Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, Wood Wasp, etc.) – systemic control, application technology, and penetrants
**** Virus control and management in production to ensure clean stock
**** Best management practices for scale, thrip and mite control - with an emphasis on field production
**** Longevity and efficacy of pre-emergent herbicides.
*** Identifying chemical control and host plants of chili thrips
*** Biorational/biological soil amendments / foliar sparys (ex: myccorhizal fungi, amino acids) – effect on rooting, disease suppression and plant growth
*** Rose rosette management
** BMPs for pest management and/or condensed pest-specific BMPs

Crop Production

***** Water conservation and management in production and the relationship between irrigation and leaching of nutrients and pesticides.
***** Reducing root stress - insulation, container wraps and colors, water management, pot types for survival and growth
***** Nursery production using very low phosphate fertilizers.
***** Reducing nursery effluents with an emphasis on phosphorous effluent.
***** Measuring water consumption (as opposed to use) in nursery production, i.e. water pumped vs recaptured
**** Reducing nursery waste generation – recycling, alternative fuels, composting used potting soil and plant material
**** Weed control in beds, roadways, pond waterlines, and drainage ditches in nurseries
**** Control release fertilizer development with a focus on advancing fertilizer technology.
**** Micronutrient product evaluation for longevity in production cycles– heavy metals for plant growth
*** New plant introductions – development of protocol for cultivar introductions to include screening for invasiveness, trial length, etc.
*** Understanding relationship between pH and nutrient/micronutrient availability in soilless substrates.
*** Crop production calendars
** The effect(s) of using grey-water for irrigation.
** Identification of affordable and effective organic products to incorporate into production.
** Determine the viability or hardiness of finished plants, both BandB and cans, as they are shipped northward.

Economics and Marketing

***** Investigating the nursery industry's role in production of alternative fuels
***** Reducing energy costs
***** Economic assessment of the value of landscape plants (commercial and residential)
***** Ecomomics of plant liner root system size as it relates to finished plant size.
**** Maximizing shipping efficiency
**** Economics of mechanization
**** Life-cycle assessment of nursery production practices.
**** Economic impact of “Obamacare” on the Green Industry
*** Identifying value-added products for the nursery industry
** Evaluation of production costs compared to sale price and crop production budgeting (keep or dump)
** Cost comparison of chemical applications (e.g. PGRs) to labor.


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