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MDARD awards grants for Horticulture research

MDARD awards grants for Horticulture research

By Andi Anderson

The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDARD) has announced the recipients of the 2024 Horticulture Fund Grant, aimed at bolstering Michigan's nursery and ornamental horticulture industry, valued at approximately $1.4 billion. These grants, totaling nearly $55,000, represent MDARD's commitment to supporting sustainable agriculture practices and fostering resilience in the face of evolving challenges.

MDARD Director Dr. Tim Boring emphasizes the importance of research in ensuring the long-term success of Michigan's horticulture industry: "These grants are another way MDARD is making investments in supporting sustainable agriculture, healthier communities, and cultivating resilience to our changing world."

From the seven proposals received, MDARD selected three projects for funding:

  • Rodney Fernandez, Michigan State University: Focuses on ensuring water security by reducing nitrogen and pesticides in agricultural wastewater.
  • Debalina Saha, Michigan State University: Compares the effects of organic versus synthetic herbicides for liverwort control and their impact on nursery production.
  • Younsuk Dong, Michigan State University: Aims to improve irrigation management in Christmas tree production using loT-based sensor monitoring technology and irrigation scheduling.
  • These projects align with MDARD's grant categories, including applied research, basic research, and outreach/training/demonstration, all geared toward enhancing industry profitability while promoting environmental and social responsibility.

The proposals underwent rigorous evaluation by the Horticulture Fund Advisory Committee through a competitive process to ensure alignment with industry needs and research priorities.

For those interested in learning more about MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, visit

Photo Credit: istock-fotokostic

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Categories: Michigan, General

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