A week and a half ago myself and several of my colleagues had the opportunity to attend a day long event dedicated to sustainable nursery practices put on by the International Plant Propagator’s Society (www.ipps.org).
The day included Morning seminars that highlighted recent research in biological control methods; soil microbial activity for containers and field operations, as well as existing nursery IPM programs that have evolved over the years. We also had the opportunity to visit three farms that were actively practicing sustainable farming methods, including a pot in pot tree operation; budding demonstration; compost operation with equipment demo; and pot container trials as well as irrigation water pH control plot.
The day proved to be both informative and thought provoking. While much of the material written about sustainable agriculture deals with food production, it would appear that many of these concepts are able to be applied in the nursery trade.
For some industries, sustainability is largely a public relations issue, but for agriculture it's becoming a strategic issue and one that is increasingly going to affect financial performance.