AFE-Funded Researchers Go Face to Face with Thrips

Sound scientific research has guided many of the flower crop production and postharvest handling practices used by growers, wholesalers, supermarkets and retail outlets today. AFE realizes that research you support must have direct value to each of you and to your companies.
Assuring that research is relevant to flower production begins with making sure that researchers are familiar and see first-hand the conditions upon which their results will be used. During the first week of October, three accomplished thrips researchers accompanied me to Medellin, Colombia to visit flower farms. These researchers included JC Chong of Clemson University and Margaret Skinner and Bruce Parker of the University of Vermont.
afe researchers in medellin, columbiaIn late 2016, we also took AFE-funded Botrytis researchers to flower farms. The following report by JC Chong in PestTalks provides an overview of the Medellin, Columbia trip. Now, all of these researchers now understand the production conditions and current insect control practices used in South American cut flower production. After the first of the year, we will host a couple of researchers visiting growers in California. We are asking that, where appropriate, researchers will have on-site ‘Proof of Concept’ trials at growers.

Read JC Chong’s trip debrief in Ball Publishing’s PestTalks e-newsletter here.

Support from each of these organizations has allowed the American Floral Endowment to expand the scientific research efforts on thrips and Botrytis. These pests are costing the industry large amounts of money in pesticides and labor to apply the pesticides. Help is on the way. See the information on thrips and Botrytis in this update.
AFE is leading the way in providing practical research and solutions to transform the floral industry.
If you have other questions or need assistance, please let me know (
Terril Nell 
AFE Research Coordinator