The Board of Trustees of the American Floral Endowment (AFE) recently announced the deadline for scientific research “Pre-Proposals” for the 2006-2007 funding cycle. The Pre-Proposals are due no later than June 1, 2005.
The Endowment continues to revise its Scientific Research Grant Process. A new evaluation process has been implemented, and the review time frame has been significantly shortened.
The Endowment has listed Management Protocols for Floriculture Crops; Management Systems for Diseases of Floriculture Crops; Management Systems for Insects Affecting Floricultural Crops; Post-harvest Management Systems for Floriculture or Plant Breeding; and Genetic Engineering of Floricultural Crops as major research priority areas. The Endowment will also consider any well-conceived and prepared Pre-Proposal that addresses a national need for the floricultural industry. The duration of a research project can be one, two or three years, and any reasonable, but justifiable, budget can be submitted.
When consumers purchase fresh cut flowers, long vase life is a major consideration. Thus, AFE has supported research by Dr. Terril Nell at the University of Florida-Gainesville to determine which fresh cut carnation cultivars have superior vase life. With Columbia being the main supplier of cut carnations, 24 cultivars were grown and shipped by air to Miami. They were subsequently transported by refrigerated truck to Gainesville for evaluation using standard conditioning procedures.
Dr. Nell found that vase life ranged from 10-34 days, with 24 cultivars lasting in excess of three weeks. In contrast, two cultivars lasted less than two weeks. These results indicate the need to select cultivars with long vase life qualities. The results of this study have been summarized in Special Research Report No. 414 and are available on the Endowment Web site at www.endowment.org .