carbon & water footprint (7)

29 Aug 2017

2017 California Nursery Conference: Part One

Bridget Behe (Michigan State University), Joshua Knight and Dewayne Ingram (University of Kentucky), Alexa Lamm and Peyton Beattie (University of Florida)

This conference, held on July 27, 2017 in Irvine, CA, focused on Water Management in Nursery and Greenhouse Production. The Clean WateRteam presented their research studies. This first part (of three) covers carbon and water footprint, water conservation, and economic cost of water. The topics covered are:

1-1WaterFootprintofNurseryProduction (2668 KB)     1-2EnvironmentalImpactPotentialandCostNurseryProduction (2704 KB)     1-3EcosystemServicesLandscapePlants (1349 KB)     1-4MarketingWaterUsetoConsumers (1099 KB)     1-5HowGrowersMakeDecisions (716 KB)

4 Aug 2017

Comparison of Three Production Scenarios for Buxus microphylla var. japonica ‘Green Beauty’ Marketed in a No. 3 Container on the West Coast Using Life Cycle Assessment

Ingram, D.L., Knight, J. (University of Kentucky), Hall, C.R. (Texas A&M)

The impact of west coast production scenarios for boxwood marketed in a #3 container on carbon footprint (CF; kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents (kg CO2e)) and variable costs at the nursery gate for Scenario A (propagation to #1 to #3 container) was 2.198 kg CO2e with variable costs of $4.043.  Scenario B (propagation to field to #3 container) was a CF of 1.717 kg CO2e with variable costs of $2.880 and take a year longer in production than the other two models.  The CF of Scenario C (propagation to #1 to #2 to #3 containers) would be 3.364 kg CO2e with variable costs of $5.733. Containers, transplants/transplanting, irrigation, and fertilization accounted for the greatest portion of CF and variable costs in each scenario.  

See the link here

1 Sep 2016

Carbon Footprint and Variable Costs of Production Components for a Container-grown Evergreen Shrub Using Life Cycle Assessment: An East Coast U.S. Model

Ingram, D.L. (University of Kentucky), Hall, C.R. (Texas A&M University), Knight, J. (University of Kentucky)

Production components of an evergreen shrub (Ilex crenata) grown in a #3 container in an east coast U.S. nursery are analyzed for their costs and contributions to carbon footprint (CF), including product impact in the landscape throughout its life. The propagation-to-landscape CF for an individual plant was 2.337 kg CO2e with variable costs from cutting-to-gate of $3.224. After accounting for carbon sequestered in the landscape by the plant, the plant’s CF drops to -1.445 kg CO2e. Major contributors to CF and costs are discussed. This information can communicate economic and environmental value of green industry products to the consuming public.

HortScience 51 2016 (487 KB)

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Description of research activities

A national team of scientists is working to encourage use of alternative water resources by the nation’s billion-dollar nursery and floriculture industry has been awarded funds for the first year of an $8.7 million, five year US Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture –Specialty Crop Research Initiative competitive grant.

The team will develop and apply systems-based solutions to assist grower decision making by providing science-based information to increase use of recycled water.  This award from the NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative is managed by Project Director Sarah White of Clemson University.  She leads a group of 21 scientists from nine U.S. institutions.

Entitled “Clean WateR3 - Reduce, Remediate, Recycle – Enhancing Alternative Water Resources Availability and Use to Increase Profitability in Specialty Crops”, the Clean WateR3 team will assist the grower decision-making process by providing science-based information on nutrient, pathogen, and pesticide fate in recycled water both before and after treatment, average cost and return-on investment of technologies examined, and model-derived, site specific recommendations for water management.  The trans-disciplinary Clean WateR3 team will develop these systems-based solutions by integrating sociological, economic, modeling, and biological data into a user-friendly decision-support system intended to inform and direct our stakeholders’ water management decision-making process.

The Clean WateR3 grant team is working with a stakeholder group of greenhouse and nursery growers throughout the United States.

For example, at the University of Florida graduate student George Grant is collecting data on removal of paclobutrazol, a highly persistent plant growth regulator chemical, from recirculated water using granular activated carbon (GAC) filters. This is being done in both research greenhouses and in a commercial site. The GAC filters can remove more than 90% of chemical residues, and are proving to be a cost-effective treatment method.