HRI And USDA-ARS Sign Agreement

April 28, 2006 - 08:46

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), which is the research division of the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA), recently signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to explore the use of biodegradable animal and plant by-products for the production of biodegradable nursery containers.

The 3-year CRADA focuses on development of the technology and manufacturing process to develop biodegradable feather-derived plastic nursery pots that can be recycled or composted after the plants have been put in the ground. According to K. Marc Teffeau, HRI’s director of research and regulatory affairs, this effort is a “win-win” situation all around. The resulting products will reduce land-fill space used by poultry processing and plastic nursery pots. It will also help to improve profit margins for growers by giving them a viable alternative to escalating costs of pots made from petroleum resins, according to ANLA.

“ANLA’s grower community is committed to producing ornamental plant material in an environmentally sustainable fashion that both beautifies and enhances our natural environment. Growing plants in biodegradable containers that can be composted by the end user or at landfill sites is a logical extension of our sustainable emphasis. This is a new, exciting endeavor for HRI and takes us one step closer to its mission of being the research and development leader of the green industry,” said Teffeau.

The USDA-ARS/HRI CRADA also gives HRI the option to negotiate an exclusive license on behalf of the nursery industry for the commercial production of products developed from this research effort.

For more information, contact K. Marc Teffeau at or (202) 789-2900.

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