The Northwest Nursery Crops Research Center is a consortium among USDA-ARS, the nursery crop industries and Agriculture Experiment Stations of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington that emphasizes communication, coordination, and cooperation on research to solve production problems.
Nursery Crops in the Pacific Northwest
Nursery crops have become one of the major agricultural commodities in the United States, providing jobs and long term benefits to the environment. In 1998, the average person in the U.S. purchased $203 (retail) worth of nursery plants resulting in a wholesale nursery crop production worth $12.1 billion nationally and $910 million in the Pacific Northwest. Greenhouse and nursery products rank as the number one commodity in Oregon with a dollar value of $564 million in 1999. The nursery industry is extremely diverse, growing over 5000 different varieties, but any one grower may be highly specialized, growing only one species of plant.
History of the Center
In 1992, the NorthwestNurseryCropsResearchCenter was conceived with the goal of bringing together the nursery crop industries of Idaho, Oregon and Washington with researchers from the respective Agricultural Experiment Stations and ARS to solve problems of regional importance. The NorthwestNurseryCropsResearchCenter is still in its infancy, developing the infrastructure needed for survival as a sustained entity. In 1995, 1998, and 2000, the Center received recurring funding to increase the number of ARS researchers studying nursery crop problems and to facilitate the establishment of collaborative research projects. These projects are leading to development technologies and methodologies that will make the Pacific Northwest Nursery industries more productive and competitive and to maintain the high quality of their products.