Location: Application Technology Research
Project Number: 5082-21000-001-069-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 15, 2022
End Date: Sep 14, 2026
The overall objective of this research is to address marketing, production, and food safety challenges facing the fresh culinary herb industry, with a focus on controlled environment production of potted and fresh-cut herbs. This is divided into three sub-objectives: 1) increase the demand and marketability of culinary herbs through marketplace feasibility studies of different production, sensory, and marketing characteristics, 2) increase growth, quality, shelf life, disease management, and food safety of commercial culinary herb production through environmental control and cultural practices, and 3) develop and communicate effective marketing, production, plant protection, technology adoption, post-harvest, and food safety guidelines for controlled environment herb growers.
ARS will a) quantify how temperature, light (quality, quantity, and photoperiod), and carbon dioxide interact to influence herb growth, phytonutrient concentrations, shelf life, and pests of fresh-cut and potted herbs; b) determine appropriate macro- and micro-nutrient management strategies for herbs in hydroponic and containerized production systems; and c) induce nutritional disorders via a silica sand hydroponic system to determine critical leaf tissue ranges and symptomology.