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MSU Extension leads pollinator research project
MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is leading a research project aimed at enhancing pollinator habitat in managed turfgrass of the Southeast.
Members of the research team at MSU are Jay McCurdy, MSU Extension turfgrass specialist and associate professor in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and Edicarlos Batista de Castro, Extension associate in plant and soil sciences. They are joined by Gerald Henry, athletic association endowed professor in the University of Georgia Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and David W. Held, professor in the Auburn University Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.
The four-member group was recently awarded a $495,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture for the project, Partnership for Pollinator Friendly Lawns in the Southeastern United States.
The project will develop best management practices for improving forage quality and abundance for threatened pollinator species. Researchers will also develop training materials on sustainable management systems for homeowners and professional practitioners based on the outcomes of the project.
Specifically, researchers will identify plant species that can provide adequate habitat, thrive under routine maintenance programs, and provide a suitable aesthetic for homeowners and property managers.
This work is supported by Agricultural and Food Research Initiative grant no. 2021-67013-34145 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.