2022 Message from the Coordinator

A message from Project GREEEN coordinator Jim Kells.

Jim KellsIt is an honor for me to serve in the role of Coordinator of Project GREEEN, having been involved in the program since its inception 24 years ago. I continue to have a deep appreciation for the value of Project GREEEN to Michigan plant agriculture.

Project GREEEN is a unique partnership among MSU AgBioResearch, MSU Extension, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, plant-based commodity organizations, and others, with support from the State of Michigan. These resources not only directly support Michigan plant agriculture through research and extension but also help attract additional resources to Michigan agriculture. Research and Extension faculty have been very successful at leveraging Project GREEEN dollars for funding from sources such as the U.S Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and private industry. Project GREEEN has yielded an economic impact of more than $30 for each dollar invested.    

From its inception, flexibility was built into the foundation of Project GREEEN. It was wisely designed to address priority research needs as identified by the Michigan plant agriculture stakeholders. It was also structured to address long-term issues as well as rapidly responding to emerging serious threats such as invasive pests, severe weather events, etc., with the goal of ensuring the viability and sustainability of Michigan plant agriculture. I am proud to say that Project GREEEN has remained true to its mission through these years.

This year’s report highlights some of Project GREEEN’s projects and impacts. It includes a summary of research on the epidemiology and management of tar spot in corn. We are highlighting research on biological and chemical control of spotted wing drosophila. Also featured is research on bacteriophage for management of fire blight in apple and bacterial canker in sweet cherry. Landscape plant selection and management for slope restoration on urban freeways is also included in his report. An outreach program to build awareness of current and potential invasive forest pests is described as well. Finally, we are highlighting research on the effect of biochar on soil organic matter content and stability.

I hope you find these updates interesting and informative.


Jim Kells
Coordinator, Project GREEEN
Assistant Director, MSU AgBioResearch
Professor, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences

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