Washington, DC – At its 130th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Experiment Station Section today recognized a multistate research project spanning 21 public universities and two federal agencies with its 2017 National Multistate Research Award. The project, Water Management and Quality for Ornamental Crop Production and Health, studied water use by growers of ornamental plants that are often used for landscaping. The project then used outreach efforts to help growers increase the efficiency of their water use, improve related practices and enhance environmental stewardship
The national award recognizes experiment station scientists who are conducting exemplary research and outreach efforts across multiple states. Three other multistate research projects were also recognized for exceptional work in their regions.
As communities across the country face the challenge of increasingly scarce water resources, the Water Management and Quality for Ornamental Crop Production and Health has helped greenhouses and plant nurseries produce decorative plants more efficiently and with fewer adverse effects on the environment.
“The Water Management and Quality for Ornamental Crop Production and Health represents exactly the kind of research and outreach effort that public universities strive for,” said Eddie Gouge, Senior Associate Director of Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET). “By pairing new research findings with innovative outreach efforts, the group ensured that the discovery of new knowledge translated into a real-world positive impact.”
The group began by surveying nearly 400 ornamental crop growers on their water use. It has since developed a variety of efforts to help make the process more efficient. The group’s research on water requirements has helped growers minimize waste by adjusting irrigation timing and quantities. The team also created a free mobile app, GroZoneTracker, which helps growers record, track, and share information – making it easier to optimize the growing process. Project scientists also discovered ways to use alternative water sources for nursery and greenhouse irrigation and save millions of gallons of freshwater for other uses. They plan to re-survey the growers in 2022 to determine how their practices have changed.
Institutions participating in the project are: Auburn University; Clemson University; Colorado State University; University of California, Davis; University of California, Riverside; University of Connecticut, Storrs; University of Florida; Kansas State University; University of Kentucky; Louisiana State University; University of Maryland; University of Massachusetts; Michigan State University; Mississippi State University; North Carolina State University; Purdue University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; University of Tennessee (Cooperative Extension); Texas A&M University AgriLife Research; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; the University of Wisconsin-Madison; USDA Forest Service; and USDA-ARS (Ohio).
In addition to the national award, three Regional Excellence in Multistate Research Award winners were named. More information on all multistate projects can be found at: www.nimss.org .Their regions, name, and institutions are as follows:
Ovarian Influences on Reproductive Success in Ruminants
Aileen Keating, Technical Committee Chair
Gary Thompson, Administrative Advisor
Participating Institutions: Cornell University, Ithaca; Iowa State University; Mississippi State University; The Pennsylvania State University; University of Connecticut, Storrs; University of KentuckyUniversity of Massachusetts; University of Nebraska–Lincoln; University of New Hampshire
University of Wisconsin-Madison; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University;
West Virginia State University
Sustainable Practices, Economic Contributions, Consumer Behavior, and Labor Management in the U.S. Environmental Horticulture Industry
Bridget K. Behe, Technical Committee Chair
Craig Nessler, Administrative Advisor
Participating Institutions: University of Connecticut, Storrs; University of Delaware; University of Georgia; University of Florida; Iowa State University; Kansas State University; University of Kentucky; Louisiana State University; Michigan State University; Mississippi State University; University of Minnesota; Purdue University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Texas A&M University AgriLife Research.
Reproductive Performance in Domestic Ruminants
Caleb Lemley, Technical Committee Chair
Milan Shipka, Administrative Advisor
Participating Institutions: University of Alaska; University of Arizona; University of Arkansas; University of California, Davis; Colorado State University; University of Connecticut, Storrs; Kansas State University; Mississippi State University; Montana State University; New Mexico State University; North Dakota State University; The Ohio State University; Oregon State University; The Pennsylvania State University; State Departments of Agriculture; Texas A&M University AgriLife Research and Extension Center (Overton); University of Idaho; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Minnesota; University of Missouri; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University of Nevada-Reno; University of Tennessee; University of Wyoming; USDA-ARS (Fort Keogh, Montana); USDA NRCS; Utah State University; Washington State University.