Study Analyzes Pest Risks

May 16, 2008 - 11:34

The Michigan Floriculture Growers Council (MFGC) has partnered with Michigan State University (MSU) faculty, the MSU Product Center, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) to conduct a situation analysis that will explore the potential risks associated with quarantine pests and diseases in the floriculture industry.

The project, led by MFGC board member Erik Runkle, will be funded by Project GREEEN, Michigan’s plant-based agriculture initiative at MSU. Additional funding will come from the Western Michigan Greenhouse Association and the Metro Detroit Flower Growers Association.

The analysis will assist the floriculture industry, particularly young plant growers, in establishing a systematic approach for understanding and exploring the risks associated with pests, within the specific Michigan context, according to an MFGC press release.
The study will be completed in early 2009 and will be widely disseminated to the floriculture industry in Michigan and beyond. The long-term goal is to help the industry develop tailored procedures for supply chain participants to meet specific arrangements and requirements in order to mitigate pest risks in floriculture.

Although Runkle will oversee the project, the analysis will be primarily conducted by Getachew Abate from the MSU Product Center. Ample input will be solicited from industry leaders, researchers and state and national regulators. Other team members include Gale Arent (MFGC), Ray Hammerschmidt (MSU Department of Plant Pathology) and Ken Rauscher (MDA Plant Industry Division).

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