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Horticultural Research Institute Announces 2021 Grant Awards

Jennifer Zurko

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), the foundation of AmericanHort, announced the portfolio of research projects to be funded in 2021. Projects range from innovations to crop production for both greenhouse and nursery segments, emergent consumer research, pollinator research and plant disease projects. A total of $364,000 will be awarded this year.

The Horticultural Research Institute’s mission is to direct, fund, promote and communicate horticulture research. Supporting research that challenges current methods and bridges the divide between businesses and the consumer is exactly how HRI helps build prosperous businesses, advance the green industry and fulfill its core vision.

This year’s research projects include:

• A practical method for rapidly assessing pollinator attraction to plant cultivars (H. Patch, Penn State University)

• Transparent Solar Cell Design for Greenhouses (R. R. Lunt & E. Runkle, Michigan State University)

• Controlling Flowering of Summer-Fall Garden Mums with Strategic LED Lighting (Q. Meng, University of Delaware)

• Removal of paclobutrazol from captured irrigation runoff using slow sand filters (L. Oki, UC Davis)

• Fluorescence imaging: A low-cost method for early stress detection (M. van Iersel, University of Georgia)

• Gardening purchase motivation and satisfaction during COVID-19 isolation and their effects on likelihood to buy again (B. Behe, Michigan State University)

• Growing Green Industry Profits from an Emerging Market of Plantspeople (J. Campbell, University of Georgia)

• Fertility, population dynamics and pollinator attractiveness of standard and “sterile” cultivars:  Buddleia as a case study may inform the way forward for our national industry (R. Contreras, Oregon State)

• A holly jolly Christmas starts with disease-free hollies (F. Hand, Ohio State University)

• Characterization and Modeling of Physical and Hydraulic Properties of Wood Substrates (B. Jackson, North Carolina State University)

• Early detection of Phytophthora spp. on nursery-grown ornamental plants (S. N. Jeffers, Clemson University)

• Developing Native Plants for Sustainable Green Industry Production (Y. Sun, Utah State) GT   

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