Multimedia Training Resources on Sustainable Greenhouse Vegetable Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1999: $39,887.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Mary Peet
North Carolina State University

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: tomatoes


  • Crop Production: organic fertilizers, application rate management
  • Education and Training: extension
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study
  • Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, integrated pest management
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Soil Management: organic matter


    The original project proposed development of two videos: organic fertilization and greenhouse IPM. The greenhouse IPM video has been completed, evaluated and 100 copies have been made and over half already distributed, mostly to NC extension agents and growers, but also to professional colleagues and cooperators in other states and countries. A greenhouse IPM videocassette was included in the 2002 annual report, and more can be made available on request for distribution by SR-SARE. Initial greenhouse IPM videocassette distribution was made to county offices in NC as well as individual contacts with agents and growers at meetings and conferences. The organic fertilization video has been filmed, scripted, and edited, and is in the production process. It has not yet been evaluated. A semi-final version is being mailed with the hard copies of the final report. Funds were obtained from campus SARE-PDP sources to film a third video on best management practices. This video has been filmed, time-coded, and is in the process of being converted to DVD for editing. A website has also been developed ( greenhouse_veg/). We expect to use segments of the greenhouse IPM and organic video footage on the website as well as posting both scripts. A distance education course, which includes material developed as part of this project, was developed and taught twice to a total of 30 students. As part of that course, students visited greenhouses in Canada and Arizona. It will be taught again in 2005, with a probable class visit to Florida.In addition an greenhouse image database which includes pictures of biocontrols and cultural practices has been created and mounted on a server.

    Project objectives:

    1) Decrease the use of broad-spectrum and high-risk pesticides in greenhouses, with attendant environmental benefits. This will be accomplished by creating a high-quality 15-minute training video containing information about biological controls and reduced-risk pesticides. A greenhouse video also reinforces general IPM principles since the efficacy of biological control and some other IPM practices are easier to document in the greenhouse than in the field.
    2) Decrease greenhouse use of high-analysis soluble chemical fertilizers and increase the use of composts and organic fertilizers, thereby reducing nutrient pollution of waterways and ground water. This will be accomplished by creating a high quality 15-minute training video on use of organic media and fertilizers. Making trainers more familiar with organic crop requirements will also help them with recommendations to field producers interested in fertilizing organically.
    3) Increase the ability of trainers to prepare their own web, slide or print presentations on these subjects by creating a web-based digital image library on greenhouse vegetable production. The database will be searchable using keywords, such as fertilization, pest control, whiteflies, environmental controls, etc. so it can also be used as a teaching tool. Availability of this material should also increase the ability and willingness of extension personnel to make presentations on biological control and organic fertilization to all audiences.
    4) Distribute and publicize the information developed. Evaluation will take place during the distribution phase, as described below.

    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.