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Berl M. Thomas

The containerized transplant commercial industry started in the United States in the 1960's. Since then, several different types of growing containers have been developed for the vegetable, tobacco, ornamental and forestry seedling industries. Two basic irrigation methods have developed including overhead and sub-irrigation systems. The irrigation system used depends on the crop needs, value, availability of water, and the need to reduce pesticide use and risk of disease. Sub-irrigation systems have reduced the spread of seed-borne and naturally occurring diseases. Overhead irrigation systems were predominantly used during the early years, but at present, both systems are used and selected for their respective advantages. Future developments in the transplant industry include reduction of production risks and to improve cost per production unit by reducing both nursery and farm labor requirements.