Moving nursery producers toward sustainable production practices

Project Overview

ES09-097
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2009: $76,237.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Florida
Principal Investigator:
Gary Knox
University of Florida

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, ornamentals, trees

Practices

  • Crop Production: foliar feeding, irrigation, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers, application rate management
  • Education and Training: extension, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, indicators
  • Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, botanical pesticides, chemical control, cultural control, disease vectors, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, genetic resistance, integrated pest management, physical control, mulching - plastic, precision herbicide use, prevention, sanitation, trap crops, traps, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Soil Management: organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures

    Abstract:

    Nursery producers are adopting sustainable practices thanks to training provided to county Extension agents using SARE grant-developed sustainable resources. The website, Moving Nursery Producers Toward Sustainable Production Practices (http://blog.caes.uga.edu/snpp/) contains resources pertaining to nursery sustainability, including You Tube videos, publications, websites, and presentations. County agents attended an in-service training to learn about these resources, also receiving a Sustainable Nursery Toolbox containing printed references and other resources (books, pest ID cards, hand lenses, etc.). County agents and growers provided feedback during resources development. Results from their evaluation indicate strong support for the website, Moving Nursery Producers Toward Sustainable Production Practices (http://blog.caes.uga.edu/snpp/).

    Project objectives:

    The long-term goal of this project is to enhance the environmental sustainability of nursery production while maintaining economic sustainability. To achieve this goal, our objectives are for Extension agents and other service providers to (1) understand the components of sustainable nursery production as well as the business practices necessary for economic viability, and (2) gain confidence in the applicability of the knowledge and their ability to carry out sustainable nursery production.

    Objectives for this grant include:

    • Planning and development, including meetings with collaborators, nursery producer (“farmer”) advisers and interested clientele.
    • Preparation of presentations, handouts and activities for a comprehensive training on sustainable nursery production.
    • Review of materials by “farmer” (nursery producer) advisory committee. •
    • Revision of presentations, handouts and activities for a comprehensive training on sustainable nursery production.
    • Filming of modules for a series of You Tube videos, also placed on our website. •Submission of annual progress reports.
    • Distribution of presentations, handouts and activities for a comprehensive training on sustainable nursery production.
    • Two-day training for up to 45 Extension agents and specialists, including visits to regional nurseries using sustainable production methods.
    • Final revision of presentations, handouts and activities for a comprehensive training on sustainable nursery production.
    • Distribution of evaluation instrument after training, and assessment of results.
    • Final website distribution of videos, presentations, handouts and activities for a comprehensive training on sustainable nursery production.
    • Submission of final report
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.