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FNGLA established a Research Committee to identify and develop the Florida nursery and landscape industry's research priorities, and provide guidance in coordinating the funding of needed research projects. FNGLA encourages participation from all academic disciplines and hopes that the scientific community will use these priorities as a guide when addressing industry needs.
FNGLA Industry & Extension Research Priorities
1) Improve Environmental and Resource Management
Defined as: FNGLA encourages and supports research to maximize efficient water use and research designed to react to and identify exotic insects, diseases, and plants that can harm our industry and our environment. FNGLA supports research for control and prevention of such pest introductions.
(A) Water Management
- How much water is required in landscape establishment
- How much water is required to maintain a landscape
- How to develop and implement low-volume and/or demand-based irrigation delivery systems
- Determine the impacts from run-off associated with residential/commercial landscapes and develop strategies to manage them to be environmentally friendly
- Develop and implement new approaches to educate the general publicand landscape professionals to mange landscapes appropriately regarding water issues
- Determine the effects of applying reclaimed water to a landscape and develop effective management strategies
- Develop Best Management Practices for landscapes based on economic and technical feasibility
- How to use reclaimed water for production
- How to find more efficient irrigation systems
- How to manage irrigation water as a resource through recycling, collection or other measures
- Continue the development of Best Management Practices based on their economic and technical feasibility
(B) Invasive Pests
(1) Insects & Disease
- How to identify diseases and pests with the potential to threaten our environment
- How to define better management strategies for insect and diseases utilizing Integrated Pest Management
- How to define the potential economic impact caused by invasive pests
- How to manage the development of species and cultivars that will not cause pest plant invasions
- How to develop science-based best management practices for landscape maintenance and contractor professions
- Develop management strategies for plants based on potential invasiveness
2) Improve Pest Management Practices and Strategies
Defined as: FNGLA supports research to develop new biological and chemical pest management tools that are effective and environmentally safe.
(A) Continued development of biological and chemical controls for insects, disease, and nematodes.
(B) Better methods of weed control for landscapes and production, including:
- Development of weed control methods and products to overcome resistance
- Identification of products and techniques that will result in better weed control in the production and landscape environments
3) Improve Production Systems Practices and Strategies
Defined as: FNGLA supports research to develop advanced systems of product handling and transportation that will improve safety and efficiency.
- How to improve labor efficiency and safety through mechanization at all levels of the industry, from production to the end consumer
- How to improve product handling to minimize labor input
- More about post harvest physiology and product longevity
- How to develop better post harvest techniques to enhance or maintain plant quality through the delivery process
4) Genetics & Breeding to Enhance Quantities & Diversity of Plant Material
Defined as: FNGLA supports research to improve the quality of plant material to improve ecological and social benefits.
(A) How to develop and improve plant material to protect and fit Florida's changing environment, specifically:
- How to develop genetically altered plant material that will prevent invasion of economically important plants.
- What plants will aid quality of life while minimizing impacts on the environment.
5) Enhance Floridians' Quality of Life
Defined as: FNGLA supports research that will improve or enhance the quality of life for Floridians.
(A) How to develop information on consumer purchase patterns, in order to:
- Understand how impulse buying affects the plant industry
- Identify consumer needs, preferences, and trends
- Understand how our industry can be a solution to quality of life concerns
- Understand, through market research, all interactions affecting plant purchasesand uses.
(B) How to develop and compile information on the beneficial environmental impacts of plant material to enhance the enjoyment and value of life
(C) How to develop economic information to promote and evaluate the value of plants in society
(D) How to develop better consumer educational techniques on uses and care of plant material