Welcome to Reality: An Overview of a Low-input Sustainable Agriculture (LISA) Project in Small Fruit

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.

An in-the-trenches researcher/coordinator viewpoint of a northeast regional LISA grant funded from 1989-93 is presented. The specifics of the logistics of coordinating a multi-state grant in a fledgling granting program is emphasized, as well as the evolution of the content and focus of the research directions for the grant Evaluation of Alternative Strategies for Small Fruit Production (Univ. of Vermont Agreement 92-08-01). This was a project in which five states in the northeastern United States proposed to cooperate on a multi-disciplinary project exploring the biological and economic feasibility of selected production practices for small fruit. These practices were selected because they showed potential for increasing net profit by reducing purchased inputs or maximizing yield. Information transfer, before, during, and after the studies was emphasized, using such diverse means as grower experimental plots, the participation of growers in integrated pest management programs, the development and publication of economic data relevant to the projects, the development of a LISA small fruit newsletter, as well as more traditional means of information dissemination such as grower meetings, and trade and scientific publications.