Areas of Expertise in Horticulture Research
There are thirteen research areas within Horticultural Science.
In the Biotechnology Program at NC State, students learn from the Bioinformatics Research Center, the Biological Resources Facility, the Cellular and Molecular Imaging Facility, the Center for Electron Microscopy, the Genomic Sciences Laboratory, the Herbarium, the Insect Museum, the Nucleic Acids Facility, the Phytotron, the Plant Transformation Laboratory, and the X-ray Crystallography Facility. Students explore the Genomic Sciences at NC State, learn from the work being done at the Plants for Human Health Institute and the Plant Transformation Laboratory, and study Carbohydrate Metabolism.
The Ornamentals research disseminates information and encourages communication about substrates and urban soils. The Horticultural Substrates Lab, the JC Raulston Arboretum, a nationally acclaimed garden with one of the largest and most diverse collections of landscape plants adapted for landscape use in the Southeast, with plants especially adapted to Piedmont North Carolina conditions collected and evaluated in an effort to find superior plants for use in southern landscapes. The Christmas trees website is designed as a one-stop-shop to provide comprehensive information to growers, retailers, consumers, and anyone interested in Christmas trees in North Carolina. Programs emphasize the safe, sustainable, and profitable production of Christmas trees through research and extension programming.
North Carolina has an extremely diverse agricultural industry. Many of the crops planted in the state are small-acreage crops, known as "minor" or "specialty" crops. The mission of the NCSU IR-4 Field Research Center is to identify the pest management needs for growers of these crops in North Carolina and to conduct crop response and residue trials to support registration of pest control products for these small-acreage crops.
Plant Breeding and Genetics students work with Molecular Genetics and Molecular Biology, Curcurbit Breeding, Potato or Sweetpotato Breeding, Ornamentals Breeding, and Peach Breeding. They study the Werner Breeding lines, the Kornegay Breeding lines, and Caneberry Breeding.
The focus of Floriculture and Greenhouse production is Commercial Floriculture. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/floriculture/topics/index.html
Weed Science is an integral part of the North Carolina State Department of Horticultural Science. The mission is to provide innovative research, outreach and extension programs in weed science and weed management. These programs encompass field residue, crop safety, weed control and management systems, herbicide development and efficiency, and alternative methods for weed management. Wolfpack Weeds: Fruit and Vegetable Crops.
Urban Horticulture http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/garden/index.html can involve community gardens, http://nccommunitygarden.ncsu.edu/, the Extension Master Gardener program, http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/masgar/, http://www.ncsugarden.com/overview.php, http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/extgardener/, In-Service Training for Horticulture Agents & Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/garden/PlantsPestsPathogens/index.html, Agent resources, http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/garden/agentresourcesUH.html.
Specialty Crops are new crops that have not been commercially grown in a particular region. Ranging from exotic purple potatoes to more commonly known crops like lettuce, producing specialty crops generally introduces farmers to a new way of growing. The North Carolina Specialty Crops Program http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/specialty_crops/ was a multi-agency, statewide program dedicated to new crop development. It operated from 1997 to 2008 under the leadership of Barclay Poling (1997-1999), Jeanine Davis (1999-2007), and Bill Jester (2008). The program has now ended due to lack of funding, but Jeanine Davis has agreed to maintain the website with the historical information from the program and to continue to serve as a resource on new and specialty crops for farmers, entrepreneurs and consumers.
Organic and Sustainable Agriculture includes CEFS and NCOrganic. CEFS http://www.cefs.ncsu.edu/ is a national model for partnership, innovation and interdisciplinary cooperation. North Carolina State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University established the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at the Cherry Farm facility near Goldsboro, N.C., in 1994. These partners work closely with state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations (for example, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Rural Advancement Foundation International, North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation), farmers, and citizens to provide agricultural research, extension, and education for our state. NC Organic, http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/ncorganic/index.html, is an internet resource for North Carolina farmers, extension agents, and aspiring growers. Even with the economic recession, the organic sector of agriculture continues to grow, making it the fastest growing segment in the United States. North Carolina consumers are committed to supporting local agriculture while most of our state's organic produce is imported from other states. The demand for organically-grown food presents a real opportunity for NC farmers.
Substrates for Greenhouse and Nursery Production. Each day we face new challenges in floriculture. Growers are aware of the current emphasis being placed on water quality, water conservation, and the reduction of runoff from agricultural industries. Another issue that reaches beyond floriculture and affects society as a whole is solid waste management and waste product utilization. Here at NC State, these issues are being addressed. Faculty within the Department of Horticultural Science have combined their expertise and formed a powerful research unit, the Horticultural Substrates Laboratory. http://www.ncsu.edu/project/hortsublab/intro/index.html.
Vegetable Production includes Greenhouse Vegetable Production. North Carolina Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association, The Bottom Line in Greenhouse Tomatoe Production by Edmund Estes and Mary Peet. And Tomatoe Grower's Informational Portal. We study Construction and Design, with West Virginia University/University of Maryland: Planning and Building a Greenhouse: http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/greenhou/building.htm; Greenhouse Construction and Cost Estimates: http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/greenhou/grencons.htm, A small backyard greenhouse for the home gardener: http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/publicat/postharv/green/small_greenhouse.pdf, Online Hydroponics http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/index.htm, and more about tomatoes, insects, diseases, newsletters, associations and short courses, and tissue analysis. See http://cals.ncsu.edu/hort_sci/research/expertise-pages/GreenhouseVegetableProduction.php