Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CROP PROTECTION AND PRODUCTION STRATEGIES FOR HORTICULTURAL CROPS

Location: Application Technology Research Unit

Title: Weaning off Bark

Author
item Altland, James

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 26, 2009
Publication Date: January 20, 2010
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/48085
Citation: Altland, J.E. 2010. Weaning off Bark. Nursery Management Professional. 26(1): 38-42.

Interpretive Summary: Pine bark is the primary potting component used in container nursery production. Shifts in the forest products industry and economy have resulted in a drastic decline in pine bark availability and increase in pine bark price. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Application Technology Research Unit, Oregon State University, and Kansas State University are exploring the possibility of using biofuel crops as an alternative to pine bark in container substrates. The idea is that biofuel crops can be grown locally, harvested, and processed into a suitable substrate. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), willow (Salix spp.), corn (Zea mays) stover, giant miscanthus (Miscanthus ×giganteus), and bamboo (Phyllostachys sp.) are currently being evaluated for their suitability as an alternative substrate. Their potential yield and cost for production have to be considered, along with the chemical and physical properties they impart when used as a container substrate.

Technical Abstract: Pine bark is the primary potting component used in container nursery production. Shifts in the forest products industry and economy have resulted in a drastic decline in pine bark availability and increase in pine bark price. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Application Technology Research Unit, Oregon State University, and Kansas State University are exploring the possibility of using biofuel crops as an alternative to pine bark in container substrates. The idea is that biofuel crops can be grown locally, harvested, and processed into a suitable substrate. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), willow (Salix spp.), corn (Zea mays) stover, giant miscanthus (Miscanthus ×giganteus), and bamboo (Phyllostachys sp.) are currently being evaluated for their suitability as an alternative substrate. Their potential yield and cost for production have to be considered, along with the chemical and physical properties they impart when used as a container substrate.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page