Webinars cover irrigation plant pathogens and recycled water for ornamental nurseries

A series of educational webinars focuses on mitigating irrigation pathogens and recycled water quality for ornamental plant nurseries. The 14 webinars discuss topics from disease identification to management strategies for nurseries.

Ornamental plant nursery growers in Michigan stand to benefit from research and educational information being generated by a Specialty Crop Research Initiative of the USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) project. Irrigation Pathogens and Water Quality is a title of a current project that involves seven institutions (Virginia Tech, Penn State, University of Maryland, UC Riverside, Christopher Newport University, and Rutgers) and the ornamental nursery industry. The project goals are to address critical issues in nursery crop health, irrigation water supplies and water quality including a focus on water-based plant pathogens.

The project team is developing a series of 14 webinars that nursery growers can log-on to over the next 12 months. Each is an hour and runs from 12:00 (Noon) to 1:00 p.m. Go to the project website to view the webinar series. The introductory webinar was presented last month and can be viewed at any time.

Michigan State University Extension reports that Michigan nurseries in the past have dealt with Phytophthora and Pythium in irrigation systems and the subsequent plant loss they can cause. This project will provide some very practical, science-based knowledge and best management practices (BMP’s) for mitigating the spread of these plant pathogens through nursery irrigation systems.

The next webinar will be November 8, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (noon).

For more information on nursery crop-related issues, contact MSU  Extension educators Jill O’ Donnell at  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) , Heidi Wollaeger at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or Thomas Dudek at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Nursery irrigation
Photo credit: Chuanxue Hong, Univ. of Vermont

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