ASHS Press Releases

American Society for Horticultural Science

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ASHS Press Releases
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'Raider Amethyst' prairie verbena, a new drought-resistant and water-saving wildflower.
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LUBBOCK, TX -- Prairie verbena, a common wildflower, grows from the Mississippi River to Arizona and from Southern Mexico to South Dakota. This beautiful native plant can be seen covering large areas of plains, prairies, pastures, and roadsides, often from March through October.

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New environmentally friendly way to control fruit flies promotes agricultural sustainability



Mediterranean fruit fly, a worldwide agricultural pest.
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HARROW, ONTARIO -- Farmers and vineyard owners have a new weapon in their pest management arsenal. A commonly used parasitoid, or parasitic insect that kills its host, has proven to be quite effective in the control of fruit flies in vineyards. These tiny pest-devouring insects are considered to be powerful "biocontrol agents" since they reduce the need for chemical pest management applications.

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Researchers Find Most-effective Seed Mixture, Planting Times for Fall Sports Fields

MADISON, WI -- A study published in the February 2008 issue of HortScience offers new information that can help schools and contractors get outdoor athletic fields ready for fall sports more quickly. Results of the research study will help schools and communities pare down the usual 9- to 12-month waiting period between planting new fields and opening the fields to autumn football traffic.

Dr. John Stier, Associate Professor of Horticulture at University of Wisconsin-Madison, led the 2-year study of seed mixtures and planting times. He noted that football fields are usually planted using slow-establishing Kentucky bluegrass seed mixed with a lower proportion of perennial ryegrass seed. The objective of this study, explained Stier, was to evaluate the effects of planting time and seed mix on three different blends of the two seeds.

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New information will benefit produce industry and consumers



Fresh produce.
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WASHINGTON, DC -- Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently examined the safety and quality of "wash techniques" used in the production of packaged produce. The study, published in the October 2007 issue of HortScience, simulated washing techniques to learn more about how industry practices affect quality and safety of pre-cut lettuce.

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Strawberry producers searching for safe pesticides, effective growing methods



Researchers study new methods of weed control in strawberry nurseries. Click here for more information.

VALLADOLID, SPAIN -- Methyl bromide, an odorless, colorless gas used as an agricultural pesticide, was introduced in the 1980s as an effective way to control weeds and increase fruit yields. Agricultural production nurseries around the world relied on methyl bromide (MB) to produce healthy plants for export and domestic sales. In 2000, the widely used pesticide was classified as an ozone-depleting substance, and in 2005 MB was banned in the United States and all European Union countries.

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