The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) will grant $400,000 in financial support for 16 new projects that investigate solutions in the areas of horticultural production, pest management, environmental stewardship and business and marketing.
“The depth and breadth of the horticulture industry demands robust and diverse research of the best quality,” says Joseph Albano, HRI research director. “The projects that were ultimately selected for funding, after vigorous scientific and industry review, represent the work HRI feels will produce new and usable knowledge for horticulture businesses.”
“We are keenly interested in supporting projects with sound methods, materials and measurables — and where the outcomes can impact the bottom line of horticulture businesses,” says HRI President Harvey Cotten, of Huntsville Botanical Garden, Huntsville, Ala. “At the end of the day, the research has to have meaning to our industry. And that meaning can be represented by a new method for pest resistance, new insights into consumer behavior or learning that the best plant for a particular site is not what we always thought it was.”
HRI encourages investigators to seek out matching funds as part of the proposal application process. An additional $445,000 was received from other granting agencies, more than doubling HRI’s research investment.
The projects, which were classified by the primary investigators into varying categories of research, benefit numerous segments of the horticulture industry.
Research categories of the projects were crop production, marketing and consumerism, pest control, post-production practices, production efficiency, resource management, water and landscape. The projects benefit various segments of the horticulture industry, including consumers, growers, distributors, landscapers and retailers. Each project may contribute to more than one research category and benefit more than one segment of the horticulture industry.
The funded projects include:
- Research aimed at giving valuable information on trends in nursery and greenhouse crop production/management and providing the “hows” of better marketing based on consumer buying practices will receive $119,000 in HRI funds.
- Mite, insect and plant pathogen control are the focus of four studies and will be garner $112,352 in HRI support.
- Projects focused on irrigation method, water quality/degraded water sources, and nutrients/fertilization are represented by nine projects, with $168,158 in HRI funding.
For more information about HRI, its grant-funded research or programming, visit HRI’s website.