- Volunteers & Internships
We are working with OSU Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) to develop an online certification course in plant disase and diagnosis for nursery workers. The course is comprised of five interactive modules and covers information such as sources and spread of pathogens, signs, symptoms, and best management practices. The course will be launched in English in early October 2019, with the Spanish version arriving in early 2020! We are looking for nursery workers interested in participating in a dry run of the course. Contact us if you are interested!
We participate in the IR-4 Project which aids in finding solutions to pests and diseases that threaten specialty crops. Through this program, biopesticides and chemicals are tested and data are generated that will play a role in potential EPA registration of the product. We are testing fungicides for their efficacy against Botrytis cinerea on garden geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum).
Together with other nursery-focused researchers at NWREC, we are learning about and investigating how nurseries can use soil sensing technology to reduce inefficient watering. We have placed METER's EC-5 and GS3 (recently discontinued) sensors into the soil of petunia hanging baskets. We have exposed the hanging baskets to different watering regimes and will analyze the rate of soil moisture loss over the day. Ultimately, we hope to discover a user-friendly method for using sensors to completely control irrigation of nursery plants; in other words, if the soil moisture drops to a certain level, the soil sensor will trigger the irrigation to begin.
In order to comply with government regulations, many farms who harvest and handle raw produce have to train their workers in basic actions and practices that will reduce the risk of introducing and spreading foodborne pathogens to the consumer. However, actual resources for trainers are sparse. To address this shortage, we are creating both videos and a manual that can be used to train workers in food safety and hygiene. These resources will be aimed at Oregon agricultural industries such as berries, but will be applicable elsewhere.
In addition, we partner with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to provide accredited grower training classes to satisfy FSMA's Produce Safety Rule requirement §(112.22(c)). At least one employee from every farm covered under the rule must attend one of these classes. To find upcoming classes, please click here.