How we are providing funding for industry-focused research through member self-assessment.

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There are a myriad of cultural, agronomic and environmental issues that affect any agricultural industry. Some topics specific to the cut foliage industry are; Post-harvest shelf life, more efficient and safe control of insect, weed and fungal pests, irrigation system efficiency / water use studies, improved fertilizer use and the study of potential new cut-foliage products. Never before, in the history of the cut foliage industry, have cut-foliage growers been able to fund industry specific research. As land and water use regulations tighten and general environmental issues become more difficult to navigate, it is increasingly important that we are able to find solutions to these issues and continue to be good stewards of the environment.

FGFF is currently working in cooperation with the University of Florida to study the improved control of the fungal pest Colletotrichum acutatum. This specific fungal pest is the most aggressive and costly disease issue related to the production of Leatherleaf fern. Gaining cost effective control of this pest would improve the overall quality of leaves used by the consumer, potentially reduce pesticide use and improve the grower’s bottom line.

Projects of this scope and cost could never be achieved through the efforts of an individual farm. One of the greatest achievements of the Floral Greens Farmers of Florida program is the ability for many individual cut foliage companies, to work together, in achieving common goals for the advancement of industry.