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Speaker: Dr. Roberto Lopez, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Michigan State University




Session Title:  Basics of Producing Culinary Herbs and Vegetable Transplants

Sunday, July 11  9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Description:  Interested in growing vegetable transplants, potted culinary herbs, or producing fresh cut herbs in greenhouses, but are unsure of where to start? Contrary to popular belief, herbs are food crops and should not be grown like floriculture crops. This session will introduce you to greenhouse and indoor culinary herb production techniques for the novice grower. 

Level: Fundamental       Type: Growing


Session Speakers:

Christopher Currey, Associate Professor at Iowa State University
Roberto Lopez, Associate Professor at Michigan State University


Session Title:  New PGR Application Methods for Improving Consistency and Crop Quality

Monday, July 12  9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Description:  This session will cover the latest MSU research on the effectiveness of foliar rooting hormone applications on difficult-to-root species. Learn how temperature and water alkalinity can impact the efficacy of ethephon sprays. In addition, the benefits of micro drenches will be covered for those that struggle keeping annuals and perennial in check with PGR sprays, but are afraid of utilizing a drench due to the residual effects for consumers. This researcher is supported in part by the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI). 

Level: Intermediate         Type: Growing


Roberto Lopez

Associate Professor at Michigan State University 

Dr. Roberto Lopez is a professor and controlled environment/floriculture extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. His research focuses on propagation and production of young and finish plants in greenhouses, warehouse-based plant factories, and vertical farms. The primary objective of his research is to determine how light (quantity, quality, and duration), substrate and air temperature, and carbon dioxide in controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) production influences crop timing, rooting, yield, quality, flavor, nutrition, and subsequent performance.

Horticulture at MSU ... science and technology to cultivate human and environmental health.  
Michigan has long been an important horticultural state. After the forests were cut in the late l800s, farmers moved to Michigan and found good land and climates conducive to growing many horticultural crops. Land located along Lake Michigan is particularly suited for apple, peach and cherry orchards because southwesterly winds sweeping across the lake provide protection from sudden temperature changes. Former swamps are now used to produce blueberries, celery, onions, and other horticultural crops. Nurseries, florists and garden centers are numerous, and urban areas provide ready markets for horticultural products.

MSU Horticulture FacilitiesAs a subject, Horticulture has been part of the Michigan State University curriculum since this pioneer land grant institution opened in 1857. In 1883 Horticulture became a separate department headed by Liberty Hyde Bailey, who later became known as the "Dean of American Horticulture." Eustace Hall, the first building to be constructed in the United States solely for the teaching and study of horticulture, was completed in 1888, and it remains as the second oldest academic building on campus. The Department has offered MS degrees since 1910 and PhD degrees since 1927.

The Horticulture Department is known throughout the world for its excellence in teaching and research. In 1986 the MSU Horticulture Department moved into the new Plant and Soil Sciences Building located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Wilson and Bogue Streets. Some of the outstanding features of this facility are computerized greenhouses, excellent research and teaching laboratories, a floral design lab, a retail plant shop, and an autotutorial lab for students.

Address:   A288 Plant & Soil Science Bldg. East Lansing, MI 48823
Email:    hrt@msu.edu     Contact:   Bridget Behe, PhD
Phone:    (517) 355-5191 ext 1359   FAX: 


             


What is Horticulture? A Modern Applied Plant Science!

Horticulture is the science and art of the development, sustainable production, marketing, and use of high-value, intensively cultivated food and ornamental plants. Horticultural crops are diverse; they include annual and perennial species, delicious fruits and vegetables, and decorative indoor and landscape plants. These specialty crops help sustain and enrich our lives by providing nutritious food, enhancing the beauty of our homes and communities and reducing our carbon footprint.

BrainardCarrotResearchCherryResearch

Researchers evaluate carrot and cherry yields, two food specialty crops.

Horticulture also contributes to quality of life, and the beauty, sustainability and rehabilitation of our environment and the human condition (e.g., see https://www.loveyourlandscape.org/more/the-benefits-of-landscapes/).  Environmental horticulture (i.e., the “green industry”), is composed of careers in greenhouse production, wholesale brokers, commercial nurseries, garden centers, florists and landscape design and construction firms, as well as private and community gardens, municipal parks and state or national reserves.  Michigan ranks third in floriculture/greenhouse production, with wholesale crops valued at over $400 million, where, for example, bedding/annual garden plants account for over half of those sales – leading the U.S. A recent report out of Texas A&M University and the University of Florida concluded that the green industry in the U.S. had direct employment of 1.6 million individuals, nearly $14 billion in sales, and direct economic output of $136 billion.  Michigan is among the top 10 states in terms of employment in the green industry.

Why Study Horticulture at MSU?

The Department of Horticulture at MSU is dedicated to providing the highest-quality education and is one of the largest horticulture programs in the U.S. As the nation’s first Horticulture Department, we are proud to maintain a tradition of excellence spanning more than 150 years.  See why our students love horticulture and love studying it at MSU!

StudentsLearningPlantID 

Students at MSU learning Plant Identification for the green industry.

In addition, MSU has a very active Student Horticulture Association club that allows YOU to get involved in many aspects of horticulture while having fun.

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The Student Horticulture Association at the homecoming parade.

Careers in Horticulture

Practitioners of horticulture are as diverse as the crops that make up the industry and the discipline.  They include a wide array of individuals and groups who farm, landscape, garden, research, advise and enjoy the bounty of horticultural plants for their nourishment, health benefits and aesthetics.  For more information, visit our Careers in Horticulture page.

The Need for Horticulture Professionals

A strong and sustained need for horticulture professionals exists.  This is true in Michigan, the Great Lakes region, nationally and internationally; and is as true for small, local operations as it is for larger commercial enterprises.  The Department of Agriculture census estimated U.S. fresh market vegetable production at 18 million metric tons and a value of nearly $12 billion in 2015.  Similarly, U.S. (non-citrus) fruit and nut production was valued at over $26 billion for approximately 22 million tons in 2014.  In addition, it is estimated that the global urban horticulture market is worth nearly $300 billion. 

Michigan produces over 300 commodities, making it the second most agriculturally diverse state in the nation, and exports internationally to Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, South Korea, etc.  These successful horticultural operations depend on expertise in areas such as physiology, breeding, molecular biology, pomology, viticulture, and greenhouse management to enhance yield and improve production. The 2014 U.S. Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture concluded that too few scientists are being trained in agricultural disciplines like horticulture.

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