Hammond Research Station Profile

The Hammond Research Station is located approximately 6 miles east of Hammond on La. Hwy 1067 (access from I-12 Exits 42 and/or 47).

Office Address:
21549 Old Covington Hwy
Hammond, LA 70403

Phone: 985-543-4125
Fax: 985-543-4124
Web site: www.LSUAgCenter.com
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
Contact: Dr. Allen Owings
Professor (Horticulture) and Research Coordinator
Size: 140 acres

Research Highlights

The mission of the station is to conduct research on environmental and production factors that affect the quality and sustainability of ornamental horticulture crops in the landscape (primary), production nurseries (secondarily) and at retail (secondarily).

Landscape Plant Evaluations

Cool and warm season annual flowers (bedding plants), herbaceous perennials, roses, ornamental grasses, trees, shrubs and ground covers are evaluated annually and multi-seasonally in trial gardens at the station. Cooperative studies are with leading national plant brands and regional, local growers. These efforts are used to introduce and recommend the best ornamental cultivars for the Gulf Coast region. Thousands of commercial and consumer clientele view the trials each year.

Pest Management

A multi-disciplinary research team studies management, control, and life cycle of several emerging insect pests in addition to several that have been of industry significance over the past few years. This includes chilli thrips, Western flower thrips, several scale species, and crape myrtle bark scale.

Plant Growth Regulator Use

New plant growth regulator application technology is evaluated on frequently used landscape shrubs for improved production and landscape management performance (reducing costs and labor hours). Information is applicable to landscape horticulturists and nursery growers.

Alternative Crops and Ornamental Plant Breeding

A new effort in the past two years has been the establishment of specialty crop trials. This includes olives and tea (Camellia sinensis). Also, the LSU AgCenter fig breeding, selection and development program initiated a move to the station in 2015. Ornamental plant breeding efforts started in 2014 and include vitex, parsley hawthorn, hardy hibiscus, duranta and several other plants.

Landscape Horticulture Research Focus is to improve landscape plant quality through new techniques, and innovative research—plant introduction/ evaluation/trialing, sustainable and best management production/maintenance practices and efforts in insect, disease and weed control.

Outreach and Extension includes timely communication to nursery, landscape and garden center professionals. Numerous events are held annually. Evaluation gardens and research plots are labeled and accessible to visitors. Tours for growers, retailers, green industry associations, master gardener groups and garden clubs are encouraged. Mass media,

Significance of Landscape Horticulture Research

  • Research has led to registration of bio-pesticides for use on ornamental crops, offering alternative pest control options.
  • 35 Louisiana Super Plants have been named by the LSU AgCenter—these ornamental plants represent the most highly recommended, easy care, low maintenance cultivars for Louisiana landscapes.

www.LSUAgCenter.com/superplants

Several landscape plants have been identified as excellent bio-filters for use in storm water mitigation systems.

2015 Green Industry Facts

  • Third ranked agriculture industry in the state in terms of economic contributions (nursery production, landscape contracting/maintenance services, retail sales and value added) - $2.2 billion annually
  • 650 nursery growers
  • 2300 landscape horticulturists
  • 300 independent retail garden centers
  • 56,000 individuals employeed
  • Most diverse agriculture industry in the state (activities occur in all 64 parishes)

Louisiana Ag Summary LSUAgCenter.com/agsummary

Future Plans

The Louisiana Super Plants program is an educational and marketing campaign that evaluates and highlights reliable and beautiful plants that perform well in Louisiana landscapes. Promotion of Louisiana Super Plants generates interest and awareness of these outstanding plants, which benefits both consumers and nursery and landscape professionals. The first Louisiana Super Plants were identified in 2010. Louisiana Super Plants have been selected through 2016.

Reducing Environmental Stress in the Landscape incorporates production includes methods used by wholesale growers that can affect a plant’s ability to tolerate environmental stresses. Research at the Hammond Research Station will continue to identify the most effective production methods and proper use of fertilizers, water and plants in the landscape. This research can provide methods for lowering landscape costs and reducing use of environmental resources.

The LSU AgCenter Landscape Horticulture Industry Field Day and the Margie Jenkins Azalea Garden Horticulture Lecture Series and Spring Industry Open House are events for commercial clientele that highlight on-going research efforts at the station. Additional events include landscape pest management workshops, certified nursery and landscape professional training, urban tree care programs, plant conferences and more. Station faculty work cooperatively with industry associations in conducting co-sponsored programs. Industry visitors from in-state and the Gulf Coast region regularly come to the station to view plant trials.

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

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