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Barb Fair

Associate Professor

Kilgore Hall 154

Publications

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Grants

Date: 09/01/16 - 8/31/21
Amount: $324,979.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

The problem we address in this proposal is that tree care professionals do not have codified IPM practices for selecting tree sites, managing trees to prevent pest infestations, and dealing with pests if they do occur. Our objective is to leverage 5 years of basic research documenting that heat and drought increase pest abundance on urban trees to develop cultural IPM tactics that will improve tree growth and survival while reducing insecticide and other inputs that pose risks to human and environmental health.

Date: 07/01/14 - 2/28/15
Amount: $18,818.00
Funding Agencies: Southern Region IPM Center

Crop Profiles provide very useful information, particularly for the USDA and EPA when they are attempting to make decisions about pesticide use and usage data on major and specialty crops. In addition to being useful for government applications, the crop profiles are also useful to stakeholders in that they provide an important production story for a specific commodity, including current pest management practices, and should include current research activities that are directed at finding replacement strategies for the pesticides of concern. In addition, crop profiles provide alternatives to chemical application such as prevention, a key principle of IPM. The profiles also offer the additional benefit of containing a list of commodity experts in the state. This gives interested parties a direct link for further inquiries regarding localized issues on crop production, pest problems and treatment options. The objectives of this project are to update various North Carolina Crop Profiles, and to fill-in critical gaps in the current information for each document. This is likely to be the case for a number of the publications, as they are dated into the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

Date: 02/01/13 - 8/31/14
Amount: $9,195.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

To increase professionalism across North Carolina, NCNLA and NC Dept . of Horticultural Science are working together to update the Certified Plant Professional (CPP) manual and identification CD. This update will be research-based information on topics from landscape management to plant selection and installation. When complete, the manual and CD will be available for landscape professionals and others to use as a resource and study materials for the CPP test.

Date: 01/01/13 - 12/31/13
Amount: $2,500.00
Funding Agencies: North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc. (NCNLA)

Sustainability is a common buzzword when discussing everything from energy consumption to building construction. Often, not everyone can agree on a definition for sustainability, particularly within the landscape industry. We can characterize our urban and suburban landscapes by compacted, poor quality soils. Despite years of work, there is no consistent approach to plant selection, installation, and maintenance techniques. Designers often specify plant species based on their form or stature to fulfill a certain function in the site. This means plants are selected that are unsuited for a particular site, but fit a particular vision. Improperly placed plants will often languish and may eventually die, contributing little or nothing economically, environmentally, or aesthetically to the site. The objective of this study is to quantify and evaluate the input costs and labor for two unique planting designs. One design represents a traditional landscape, with a mixture of plant species, while the other will be planted with only native species. Overriding these treatments will be the implementation or not of site preparation. We will measure plant health, stress responses, soil condition, and water use. Additionally we will measure all costs for implementation of each design.

Date: 09/01/08 - 8/31/13
Amount: $710,428.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Protecting and enhancing abundant safe water supplies are among the highest priority environmental issues in North Carolina and the Southern Region. The North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (NCSU CALS), including the Cooperative Extension Service, is well-positioned to provide leadership for research and educational programs to meet the needs of homeowners, farmers, businesses, local officials, and government agencies to improve water protection practices. NCSU CALS is committed to working with other Universities, including North Carolina A&T State University and colleagues throughout the Southern Region, to accomplish multi-institutional objectives in water resource protection. The objectives of this project are to: 1. Provide leadership for capacity development and partnerships in North Carolina, the Southern Region, and nation to implement effective integrated water educational and research programs; 2. Provide co-leadership for the Watershed Education and Restoration Program Team in the Southern Region; 3. Provide co-leadership for the Nutrient Management Program Team in the Southern Region; 4. Represent the Southern Region on the CSREES Committee for Shared Leadership at the request of the National Program Leader for Water Resources; and 5. Provide leadership for planning and conducting the annual CSREES National Water Conference for the purpose of sharing water knowledge and strengthening regional and national networks of researchers, educators, and extension professionals.

Date: 01/01/12 - 12/31/12
Amount: $13,000.00
Funding Agencies: North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc. (NCNLA)

Sustainability is a common buzzword when discussing everything from energy consumption to building construction. Often, not everyone can agree on a definition for sustainability, particularly activities within the landscape industry. We can characterize our landscapes by poor quality soils, and often languishing plant material. Despite years of work, there is no consistent approach to plant selection, installation, and maintenance techniques. This may explain why there are so many failing landscapes. Plant species are often selected for their form or stature to fulfill a certain function in the site. This means plants may be unsuited for a particular site, but fit a particular vision. Improperly placed plants will often languish and may eventually die. Additionally, plants are installed and maintained incorrectly, again leading to unhealthy plants. The objective of this study is to quantify and evaluate the input costs and labor for two unique planting designs. One design represents a traditional landscape, with a mixture of plant species, while the other will be planted with only native species. Overriding these treatments will be the implementation or not of site preparation. We will measure plant health, stress responses, soil condition, and water use.

Date: 02/03/11 - 12/31/12
Amount: $40,808.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

The Green Industry is the fastest growing agriculture sector in NC and contributes a tremendous amount of revenue and employment to the state. With the loss of housing construction, many green industry businesses have closed, and growers, landscapers, and employees have been laid off. Moreover, NC Cooperative Extension Agent positions, which support the green industry, are unfilled. When the economy recovers growers and new county extension agents will need to retrain themselves and their new employees. They will need access to new information, including new crops, integrated pest management strategies, new chemical classes, innovative technologies, teaching tools, and new certifications. We propose to design and develop an interactive information portal targeted directly to commercial nursery, floriculture, and landscape horticulture. It will serve as a clearinghouse of information about production from NC State and other schools, contain video and audio podcasts of industry leaders on the topics of quality and business success, and enable interaction between faculty, growers, and extension agents over production challenges. The combined support of NCDA&CS, Horticultural Science, Cooperative Extension and the nursery, floriculture and landscape industries, will strengthen NC as a national Green Industry leader by creating relevant results that are marketed more effectively to the state.

Date: 03/01/11 - 4/30/12
Amount: $24,673.00
Funding Agencies: Southern Region IPM Center

Riparian buffers, provide substantial and measurable benefits to human societies. Research has shown that residents are willing to pay more for property adjacent to riparian corridors. To obtain maximum benefits from a riparian buffer, the system must be healthy and functioning properly. The proposed study will evaluate the character of a riparian buffer system to assess how planted native and adapted plant materials disrupt establishment of invasives. The objectives of this proposed research are as follows: 1. To assess establishment rate of combinations of planted materials and seed mixes. 2. To compare and contrast the growth rate and performance of native and adapted species. 3. To determine density of woody plants needed to prevent extensive incursion of invasives. 4. Using information obtained from this study, we will develop planting and management recommendations for urban/suburban riparian corridors. Many invasives are grown and sold by southeastern nurseries; if these species are banned, many nurseries will experience significant economic losses. Therefore, they need alternatives; these may be native or adapted species. This study will provide useful information to the nursery industry. As efforts to restore our urban/suburban riparian buffers continue, the opportunities for the green industry in the southeast will be significant.

Date: 01/01/11 - 12/31/11
Amount: $4,500.00
Funding Agencies: North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc. (NCNLA)

Common problems associated with containerized planting stock are the development of girdling, kinked or upturned roots. It has been proposed that because of these issues, container-grown trees may perform poorly once planted in the landscape. This project will evaluate the affects of root pruning on container-grown trees, through the measurement of both above and below-ground biomass. Trees will be grown in clay-type soil and monitored over a three-year period. It is expected that root pruned trees will be less likely to develop girdling roots and therfore better establish in a site, have fewer problems as they mature, and contribute more to a sustainable landscape.

Date: 01/01/08 - 12/31/09
Amount: $11,469.00
Funding Agencies: North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc. (NCNLA)

Herbaceous perennial plant species have become exceedingly popular elements in landscape design, thereby providing the nursery industry with a valuable commodity. Growers and sellers are always trying to meet the demands for new plants that offer variety to the landscape but also require minimal maintenance. With changing climates, potentially drier summers and restrictions on water use becoming a way of life, finding perennial species that require minimal water inputs becomes even more critical. Independent field trials offer the opportunity to find those species or cultivars that are adapted to dry conditions or are capable of acclimatizing to lower watering regimes. Of course, it is still important that these plants offer substantial ornamental value. Native plant species or cultivars that were developed in a particular area often offer the best hope for highly ornamental qualities but also adaptability. The proposed research project will investigate the performance and adaptability of three genera, many of which are native to North Carolina. The genera of interest are Coreopsis, Echinacea and Salvia. Through a completely randomized block design with three replicates and three plants per species (cultivar) per replicate, the study will assess ornamental appeal, including flowering size, color, number and bloom period. Plants will be evaluated every 2 weeks. Size and structural integrity will also be measured. Plant adaptability to ambient field conditions will become apparent over a three-year period based simply on survival rate and overall aboveground plant growth and vigor. At the end of the study, plants will be destructively harvested to assess overall growth, including roots. During the study plants will receive minimal maintenance and after establishment will be watered (by hand) only as the soil water potential nears the permanent wilting point. There will be two field trial locations; one at the Horticultural Field Laboratory in Raleigh and one at Castle Hayne Research Farm. This will provide a wider picture of plant performance in two very different sites. These genera offer desirable ornamental plants for North Carolina landscapes. However, to maximize their ornamental qualities these plants must be grown under optimum conditions. Such conditions are not representative of most urban and suburban sites, so field trials provide information about how plants perform under typical landscape conditions, with typical maintenance. This will guide the propagation and sale of the most ornamental of the species, but also the best adapted to North Carolina sites. Such findings will maximize economic returns and guarantee continued customer interest in these plants. With changing climates and potential water restrictions looming, planting species that are tolerant or can adapt to low water supply will insure sustainable landscapes, which benefit everyone. Industries that are water-wise will be seen as environmental leaders.


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