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The 2011 ASHS Annual Conference

6925:
From the National Agricultural Plastics Association to the American Society for Plasticulture and On to the American Society for Horticultural Science's PLAST Working Group 50 Years of Successful Technology Development for Production Agriculture

Sunday, September 25, 2011: 2:00 PM
Queens 6
Gene A. Giacomelli, Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (UA-CEAC), Tucson, AZ
William J. Lamont, Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, PA
The discovery of the plastic polymer at the end of the Second World War gave rise to a whole new field later to be known as plasticulture or the use of plastics in agricultural production systems. The early research on the use of plastics in agricultural systems focused primarily on horticultural systems in the field and greenhouse applications. The early researchers and extension professionals working in the emerging field of plasticulture decided that a forum was needed where researchers, extension professionals, manufacturers, and growers could meet and present the results of their research, discuss new products, and potential horticultural applications. Thus the National Agricultural Plastics Association was founded. Later the name was changed to the American Society for Plasticulture to better reflect the mission of the organization. Throughout the history of the organization, members have contributed to the development of many horticultural products and systems that we take for granted today. Plastic greenhouses, plastic mulches, drip irrigation, fertigation, row covers, low tunnels, high tunnels, plastic containers, trays and pots, greenhouse systems and production, plastic packaging, and recovery of the energy trapped in used plastics to name a few.  Because of the diminishing number of research/extension personnel and industry personnel engaged in plasticulture activities, the American Society for Plasticulture was dissolved in 2010. It was re-born as the PLAST Working Group within the American Society for Horticultural Science to continue the discussion and interaction around the field plasticulture in the United States.