Water, Nutrient and Pesticide Movement in Container Nurseries

Jan 28 2019 - 11:00am

Container production of nursery crops requires frequent irrigation. Pesticides are usually applied over the top of plants hitting both target and non-target areas. Fertilizers are necessarily soluble so that plants can adsorb them. The combination of frequent irrigation, non-target pesticide (and some target) losses and leached nutrients result in movement of water containing agrichemicals potentially off-site or into recycling reservoirs. This presentation will cover water and agrichemical movement in container production and some methods to reduce movement.

Session Track: 


Michigan State University

Relevent Background and Education:

1974-1982, Family greenhouse/nursery in Florida
B.S. 1986, M.S. 1989, University of Florida, Fruit Crops Department
Ph.D. 1992, Michigan State University, Department of Horticlture
Post-Doctoral Researcher, 1992-1995, Michigan State University, Department of Horticlture
Assistant Professor 1995-6, Louisiana State University, Department of Horticulture
Assistant Professor, 1996-1999, Clemson University, Department of Horticulture
Assistant (1999-2003) and Associate (2003-2016) Professor, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University

Present Position: Professor, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University

Responsibilities: 45% Research, 30% Teaching, 25% Extension

My research and extension program focus areas are on water quality and management for container nursery production. I am particularly interested in new technology for horticulture, both for research and industry use. Along with water quality research, I am investigating the use of RFID to facilitate precision agriculture practices for container production.

I teach Nursery Management (HRT 310) and Landscape Plant Identification (HRT 211) as well as advise undergraduate and graduate students.

I have delivered over 200 presentations for scientific and industry audiences within Michigan, nationally and internationally and have over 160 scientific, extension and trade journal publications. I work primarily with the ornamental nursery industry but have worked with the greenhouse, fruit, vegetable, and Christmas tree industries related to water quality and irrigation management.

My interest in horticulture arose from working in our family ornamental greenhouse/nursery business. I worked for 8 years in the business participating in all aspects from greenhouse construction to plant production.


Michigan State University

Graduate Student researching irrigation management for container nursery production, as well as treatment systems for remediation of pesticides and nutrients from agricultural runoff.