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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR WATER QUALITY PROTECTION AND WATER CONSERVATION
2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Gain fundamental knowledge of the plant-substrate-water-nutrient system to identify factors that control effects of chemical stressors and develop irrigation strategies for the efficient and effective application of poor-quality water to ornamental crops.

2. Establish a pilot-scale Algal Turf Scrubber for the purposes of testing the system for treating nursery runoff for excess nutrients and to continue research on composted algae as an alternative substrate.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
In team research, conduct fundamental and applied research in the lab and in the field to develop management practices and production systems to conserve water, improve production, and protect the enviroment.


3.Progress Report:
This parent project 6618-13000-004-00D objectives are to determine the value of composted algae as an alternative substrate and the efficiency of algal turf scrubber water treatment technology for remediating nursery runoff of excess nutrients. Research is ongoing in accordance with the milestone statement on the use of composted algae as an alternative substrate for the production of containerized woody nursery crops.


4.Accomplishments
1. Compost algae and peat-based substrate blends as a horticultural crop medium. The goal of the experiment was to determine the value to horticultural crop production of cutting peat-based substrate with composted algae. An experiment was conducted blending peat-based substrate at 10 percent increments with composted algae. Based on visual plant quality ratings, marigold had enhanced growth and quality at a minimum blend of 30 percent composted algae.


Last Modified: 12/17/2014
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