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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Hurricane Katrina: Perspective from the Southern Horticultural Laboratory

Authors
item Pounders, Cecil
item Marshall, Donna
item Posadas, Benedict - MSU COASTAL RESEARCH

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2006
Publication Date: June 1, 2006
Citation: Pounders Jr, C.T., Marshall, D.A., Posadas, B. 2006. Hurricane katrina: perspective from the southern horticultural laboratory. HortTechnology. 41(3) June 2006 pgs 680-684.

Interpretive Summary: Surviving extremes of climate is a fundamental component of horticultural production and research. The Southern Horticultural Laboratory has weathered many storms including Hurricane Camille and now Hurricane Katrina. The name of the research station has changed twice, both times following massive hurricanes. Prior to Hurricane Camille in 1969, the station title was the Tung Research Unit. After the devastation of the tung industry by Camille, the research focus changed to blueberries and other small fruit crops with a corresponding name change to Small Fruit Research Unit in 1976. The research objectives expanded to include ornamental research in 2001. Post Hurricane Katrina, the unit was renamed the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory to reflect the station’s expanded research mission. This paper chronicles how the station reacted to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It also evaluates economic vitality of commodities researched at the station in contrast with storm effects on pecan and the demise of tung production.

Technical Abstract: This paper chronicles how the Southern Horticultural Laboratory reacted to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It also evaluates economic vitality of commodities researched at the station in contrast with storm effects on pecan and the demise of tung production. Surviving extremes of climate is a fundamental component of horticultural production and research. The name of the research station has changed twice, both times following massive hurricanes. Prior to Hurricane Camille in 1969, the station title was the Tung Research Unit. After the devastation of the tung industry by Camille, the research focus changed to blueberries and other small fruit crops with a corresponding name change to Small Fruit Research Unit in 1976. The research objectives expanded to include ornamental research in 2001. Post Hurricane Katrina, the unit was renamed the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory to reflect the station’s expanded research mission. Katrina may produce some temporary interruptions in production but no drastic reconstructing of the type experienced with tung production after Camille is anticipated. Hurricanes are inevitable for the Gulf Coast region. Wise planning and implementation of preventative measures to protect horticultural crops and research will determine future success.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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