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Murder, Sex, Greed PDF Print E-mail

The words "murder," "sex" and "greed" aren't normally associated with floriculture, unless you are AFE, which created a custom animated short video, spotlighting how AFE-funded research supports healthier and longer lasting flowers and plants and how its scholarships and grants promote training and hands-on experience for future industry leaders.

"It's no secret that flowers and plants make people happy," Paul Bachman, AFE Chairman and President of Bachman's, Inc., said. "However, AFE and the many ways it benefits the entire floral industry are secrets that need to be discovered by more retailers, wholesalers, growers, importers and allied organizations. We took a somewhat surprising approach so that people will take notice."

You can easily share this video through AFE's Facebook. Print and electronic ads for the video in multiple sizes are also available for your use.

New Research Identifies Environmentally-Friendly Pest Management Tactics PDF Print E-mail
Parasitoid ‘stinging’ an aphid to insert an egg that will develop into a new parasitoid (left) and a typical banker plant system using biological controls to eliminate pesticide usage at a commercial greenhouse in North Carolina.

AFE has new research that proves once again how Murder, Sex and Greed align with floriculture.

North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers describe how aphids can be managed (murder) by releasing the parasitoid wasp Aphidius colemani in Optimizing Banker Plant Systems for Aphid Biological Control in Floriculture Greenhouses, Research Report #217. This report explains how using banker plants is an environmentally friendly way to sustain the parasitoid with alternative hosts, removing the need to repeatedly purchase new parasitoids.

“Aphids can murder profits for growers, wholesalers and retailers by feeding on crops and leaving them unmarketable,” said Eric Nissen of Sunshine State Carnation Inc. and AFE Production and Post-Harvest Research Committee Chairman. “Fortunately, researchers address this in a new report that discusses how to use banker plants in a pesticide-free approach to economically kill aphids dead.”

But what exactly is a banker plant system? Banker plant systems use plants as an “arsenal” for predatory insects that can feed on the pests that murder both crops and profits. Banker plant systems consist of a grain plant (wheat, barley, etc.) that supports non-pest aphids, and those aphids support parasitoids, which in turn attack pest aphids in the crop.

AFE Announces More Than $280,000 in Research Funding PDF Print E-mail
Mary Hausbeck, Ph.D.
Michigan State University

AFE has approved more than $280,000 in scientific research project funding for 2014-2015 to support five continuing projects, five new projects and the Gus Poesch Research Fund.

“AFE research covers expansive topics that help address and solve critical industry issues,” said Eric Nissen of Sunshine State Carnations, Inc. and AFE Production and Post-Harvest Research Committee Chairman. “These projects will all provide useful information that will enable the entire floral industry to become more productive and profitable.”

The goal of all AFE research is to provide knowledge that helps the industry grow stronger and more profitable.

Disease Management

  • Managing Pythium Species in Floriculture Irrigation Water: Dr. Mary Hausbeck, Michigan State University, $40,000 (year one of three)

Research significance: While this research is most largely focused on grower concerns, water quality and availability are issues all segments of the industry will likely face in the future. This research looks ahead and attempts to address some of those concerns, especially in regards to removing water molds that negatively affect plant health from irrigation water.

AFE’s Fundraising Dinner to Support Research, Educational Programs PDF Print E-mail
fundraising dinner table

Make a difference in the floral industry and show your support of AFE by attending or sponsoring the 2014 annual fundraising dinner on Thursday, Aug. 14 at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort in Marco Island, Fla. The dinner is held in conjunction with the Society of American Florists' annual convention.

“The annual dinner is AFE’s biggest fundraising event and offers guests the perfect opportunity to learn about the latest Endowment efforts while simultaneously connecting with hundreds of floral industry professionals,” AFE Chairman Paul Bachman said. “By purchasing a dinner ticket or becoming a sponsor, you’re directly helping to support and expand AFE’s research and educational efforts to benefit all industry segments."

Past AFE research has led to the invention of the cold chain, techniques for extending the vase life of flowers, controlling powdery and downy mildews and much more.

At the dinner, the Endowment will unveil a new and updated website, announce new named funds, recognize donors reaching new giving levels and more.

Too Good to Pass Up! Two Students Awarded $10,000 AFE Ecke Scholarships PDF Print E-mail
Joshua Craver
Joshua Craver

Not one, but two promising students have been awarded a 2014 Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship through AFE. The merit-based scholarship honors the late floriculture pioneer and is awarded to M.S. or Ph.D. students who are on track to become exceptional researchers or educators.

Joshua Craver, who will soon earn a graduate degree at Kansas State University and begin a doctoral program at Purdue University, and Emma Lookabaugh, a doctoral student at North Carolina State University, were both awarded the $10,000 scholarship.

“Generally only one Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship is awarded each year, but this year AFE made an exception to award a scholarship to two remarkable candidates,” said Dwight Larimer, AFE Education Committee chairman and DESIGN MASTER color tool, inc. president. “These students show great promise and will be strong assets to the industry. We couldn’t pass them up.”

Craver will soon begin pursuing a Ph.D. in horticulture at Purdue University under Roberto G. Lopez, Ph.D. His doctoral research will explore the potential applications for using LED lighting in horticulture.

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