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Published on Mar 7, 2008
The Nursery Cooperative initiated activities in 1978. It was recognized at that time that nursery production in the Southeast was facing a number of critical issues influencing the cost effective production of southern pine planting stock used for reforestation. Nursery managers from forest industry, the states, and the U.S. Forest Service were facing severe pest management problems. The Coop, therefore, devoted considerable research effort to developing effective weed and disease control technologies and to transfer this knowledge to those individuals in nursery management. During the 1980s, the Coop program moved into the area of seedling quality as research showed that nursery related factors such as seedling size, fertility, and health, affected performance after planting. The Coop continues work in both pest management and seedling quality issues, but now is putting increased emphasis on environmental impact of pesticides and fertilizers in nurseries, hardwood culture, and the integration of nursery practices with site preparation and post-outplanting operations. All of these research programs are accompanied by rapid dissemination of new information to the Coop membership through research reports, annual meetings, newsletters, and field visits. The Coop increasingly represents the forest tree nursery community of the South to the EPA and USDA regarding policy and regulatory decisions that affect the nursery business. Since 1978, the Nursery Coop has brought to Auburn more than 4.5 million dollars of extramural funding.