The Massachusetts Best Management Practices Handbook for Nursery Production was the result of a joint project involving the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association and the UMass Extension programs at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
A set of production guidelines known as Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the purposes of this manual are voluntary activities undertaken to minimize negative effects on the environment. BMPs are an industry-driven effort to maintain agricultural production in a proftable, environmentally-sensitve and sustainable manner. BMPs are not meant to be regulatory, as every farm operation and site is different and may require special practices. BMPs are meant to provide guidance as to practices that can be implemented on most Massachusetts nursery operations.
BMPs are an evolving tool to provide producers with the latest guidance to benefit their operation. BMP considerations for field and container nurseries and horticulture distribution centers include:
- nursery layout
- water management and irrigation
- nutrient management
- soil conservation
- prohibited plants
- pesticide use and storage
- insect, mite, disease and weed management
- wildlife damage management
- organic and inorganic waste management
- alternative energy and energy conservation.
BMPs are adaptable for the diversity that exists within the industry. Applying these practices will help Massachusetts nurseries to remain (or become) healthy and profitable.
Compiled by Tina Smith and Paul Lopes, University of Massachusetts Extension
- Weed Management - Randall Prostak, University of Massachusetts
- Pest Management - Robert Childs, University of Massachusetts
- Disease Managment - Dan Gillman, University of Massachusetts
- Energy Conservation - John W. Bartok, Jr. University of Connecticut
- Soil Conservation - reviewed by Thomas Akin, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
- Composting - reviewed by Gerard Kennedy, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
- Nutrition - reviewed by Dr. Douglas Cox, University of Massachusetts
The Nursery BMP Manual received further review from a Grower Advisory Board consisting of Pat Bigelow, Bigelow Nurseries, Inc.; Wayne Mezitt, Weston Nurseries, Inc.; John Kinchla, Amherst Nurseries; Fred Dabney, Quansett Nurseries; Jim McBratney, Sylvan Nusery, Inc.; and Rena Sumner, Executive Director, Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association.