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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Evaluation of Alternative Subtrate Sources for Widespread Use in Container Nursery Production

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Project Number: 6404-21430-002-01
Project Type: Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 01, 2010
End Date: Apr 30, 2015

Objective:
The objective of this cooperative research project is to identify alternative sources to pinebark as a container substrate for widespread use in the nursery industry. In recent years there has been an increasing demand for pinebark as an energy source coupled with a steady decline in domestic timber production due to foreign imports. This along with the rapid growth in the horticulture and landscape industry has resulted in reduced market share of pinebark for horticultural use.

Approach:
Research conducted will evaluate alternative substrate souces for their potential to have widespread use as a container substrate for nursery production. Criteria for selection will include: cost effective while producing comparable plant growth, widely available, non-toxic to nursery crops, stability in production process, and appropriate physical and chemical properties. Possible sources are agricultural, industrial and municipal waste, as well as agronomic crops which might provide a sustainable biomass source as opposed to a byproduct of another industry.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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