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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Application Technology Research

Title: Maximizing industry benefit through cooperation between federal, state and private-sector floricultural research efforts

item Locke, James
item Frantz, Jonathan

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2011
Publication Date: 3/11/2011
Citation: Locke, J.C., Frantz, J. 2011. Maximizing industry benefit through cooperation between federal, state and private-sector floricultural research efforts. National Floriculture Forum Proceedings, March 10-11, 2011, Dallas, Texas. p. 2-5.

Interpretive Summary: The USDA Greenhouse Production Research Group has sought cooperation with in-house (USDA) researchers as well as university and extension collaborators on projects related to protected horticulture production. USDA has invested resources to support personnel, analytical instrumentation, lab equipment and controlled environment facilities. Recognizing that these resources provide capacity to conduct research activities beyond the scope of the resident staff, cooperations have been established to multiply the research output. The University of Toledo has provided the opportunity to partner with faculty members in several departments as well as to be a collaborator in the Plant Sciences Research Center. Local partnerships include the Toledo Botanical Garden, the Toledo Flower and Vegetable Growers Asociation, and the Maumee Valley Growers Association. Other major universities involved in horticultural research have provided opportunity of exchange visits and interaction on projects of mutual interest. The USDA Floral and Nursery Research Initiative has linked this project with other researchers through administering Specific Cooperative Agreement funding to several university-based projects as well as the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center. Other partnerships have been established at the University of Toledo to provide access to facilities and expertise which have expanded the capabilities of the USDA project. Research undertaken to date has included studies on determining optimal nutrition requirements of selected bedding plants, the potential role of silicon in combating plant stresses, modification of cultural practices, development of technology to non-destructively determine nutrient and pathogen stress, and development of software to optimize production systems through more informed economic decision making. Deliverables to the floricultural industry have included traditional peer-reviewed publications, presentations in various venues, and production of grower-friendly diagnostic and recommendation guides. The Group maintains a comprehensive web page ( which tracks research and outreach activities as well as links to research publications and the Virtual Grower software.

Technical Abstract: he USDA-ARS Greenhouse Production Research Group was established to provide a federally funded research emphasis on greenhouse crop production. It has focused on broad production issues (nutrition, water management, and energy conservation) by coordinating research between in-house researchers, University of Toledo cooperators, and existing centers of floricultural expertise. The group has served to bring together efforts on the development of the "Virtual Grower" software package, plant nutrition studies, and silicon evaluations. The project looks to continue developing interactions with local, regional, national, and international expertise, private sector interests, and stakeholder groups to maximize the use of limited resources.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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