Among timber, fruits/nuts, and specialty crop sector recommendations made by producer committees at the advisory council meeting were:

· Forestry: “We would like research on use of logging wastes for biofuels,” George Byrd said. “We’d also like to see continued support for tree farm/stewardship programs — since 1955, Mississippi has been the nation’s No. 1 tree farm state, and 70 percent of the tree farms are on privately owned land, so we need to keep supporting this effort.

“And we’d like to have help with market development and best management practices training.”

· Fruits/nuts: “Updated recommendations for fruit and nut varieties specific to our region’s soils would be helpful,” said Gerald Jetton. “Also, information on new varieties and planting trials, and grafting studies and demonstrations on how to get trees into production sooner.”

· Vegetables: “More information on cost-sharing and other programs would be helpful,” said Lisa Hart. “Also, further studies on beekeeping, varieties that grow best under plastic mulch, deer and squirrel control alternative — this is a huge issue for our producers — and more studies and information on propagation and grafting.”

· Ornamentals: “We’d like to see research and variety recommendations for disease and insect resistance in roses and ornamentals,” said Sherra Owen.

“Also, we’d like information on organic disease control and alternatives to fungicides, research for control strategies for critters such as voles, Japanese beetles, and others, and continued updates of Extension horticultural publications.”

· Turf: “Research on how best to maintain the tensile strength of mature sod, herbicide resistance and control issues, ways to deal with increasing regulations regarding chemical use in lawn care, and studies on products that can conserve nitrogen for turf applications are needs for our industry,” said Harry Collins. “Also, we would like to see the vacant Extension turf specialist position filled.”