The Center for Applied Horticultural Research (CfAHR), founded by Ken and Deena Altman, celebrated its first anniversary on Dec. 11, 2009, with an open house and seminar to present the research completed at the center during the 2008-2009 calendar year.
The seminar was a success and included industry representatives and local growers. The meeting commenced with a welcome message by Lucia Villavicenicio, CfAHR director, and James Bethke, floriculture and nursery farm advisor (UCCE, San Diego). They reaffirmed the center’s commitment to serve growers and the nursery industry and discussed the criteria used for selecting the projects conducted at the center.
A detailed presentation of projects comprised of subjects such as water use, growing protocols and insect control were presented. Of particular interest to growers of exotic plants was the presentation regarding preliminary results in the control of Aloe mite, a pest that has been affecting cactus and succulent growers. Bryan Vander May, senior research assistant (UCCE, San Diego), also presented the results of the projects he has completed to date.
Following the presentations, the participants engaged in constructive dialogue of the presented conclusions and results. Participants enjoyed a wide variety of foods and refreshments.
Villavicencio emphasized that through all the research conducted at the center, the institution continues to fulfill its mission: to conduct applied research to directly benefit growers and the nursery industry and to provide a location for industry events. The CfAHR open house provided the opportunity for growers, chemical company representatives and leaders in the nursery industry to discuss future research, and new products that could assist grower in maintaining their competitive edge during the difficult times our industry has encountered.
CfAHR’s annual report, which will be available in January 2010, will include a detailed account of all research projects conducted in the 2008-2009 calendar year. It will be available at the website: www.cfahr.org.