The Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center




The Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center (LIHREC) is the only single-location research center in the U.S. that is exclusively horticultural and that has professionals who represent each of the commodity areas (ornamental plants, floriculture, vegetables, and fruits) and cross-commodity areas (plant pathology, entomology, weed science, and plant tissue culture). LIHREC has functioned for more than 88 years to serve the professional horticultural industries of Long Island, New York and the world.


The staff members at the LIHREC address all problems and issues that pertain to the professional horticultural industries. There are staff members in all areas of horticulture, including floriculture, ornamental horticulture, vegetables, and grapes and wine. There are also specialists who work in the areas of weed science, plant disease, plant tissue culture and pest problems. The work at LIHREC for the horticultural industry is invaluable. The horticulture industry on Long Island, specifically Suffolk County, is the strongest in the state of New York with more value than any other county. It also supports areas such as tourism and agri-marketing.


Staff members at LIHREC work to improve the productivity and profitability of Long Island horticultural operations by delineating practices that reduce input costs and increase yields to boost profits. They also diagnose and provide treatment recommendations for disease, insect and weed problems for businesses that grow or maintain plants. The staff members highlight and showcase ongoing applied research and shared information about new reduced-risk plant protectant materials, integrated pest management methods and best management practices.
Professionally, LIHREC staff serve as senior editors for international research journals and newsletters. They organize conferences and address issues at the international, national and local levels. The professional staff members speak at countless meetings at the scientific and stakeholder levels.
New research programs have been implemented to address the needs of our farmers and horticulturists and have had the input of industry representatives. Several open houses and tours of the farm and center are held. Educational meetings for arborist, floriculture and vegetable growers are conducted, and tours for Cornell students and civic and professional groups are given. The staff assist the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Farm Bureau and other state agencies with successful training programs.


Fundamental and applied research projects are completed at the LIHREC to solve current horticultural problems. Projects are designed on a need-basis to answer questions that members of the horticulture industry pose. Studies on cut flowers, bedding plants, herbaceous ornamental plants, nursery container stock, vegetables, potatoes and greenhouse crops are highlighted.
Crop profiles and best management practices are developed by compiling information on varietal selection for yield, quality, and pest resistance, fertilizer efficiency, pest management, and stress susceptibility, etc. Members of the Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell University staff present information to growers and stakeholders at professional meetings and open houses.
The LIHREC staff generate valuable information that growers, producers, academics and agricultural company representatives can use. Hundreds of samples are submitted to the diagnostic laboratories for disease, insect and mite identification. Research is completed to test and register new pesticides that are effective for the horticultural industry and safe for the environment.

Submitted by: 

  • McGrath, Margaret T

Researchers involved: 

  • Pritts, Marvin P
  • Hudler, George W
  • Scott, Jeffrey G
  • Hoffmann, Michael P
  • Watkins, Christopher B
  • Daughtrey, Margery L
  • McGrath, Margaret T
  • Mattson, Neil S
  • Bridgen, Mark P

Organizations involved: 

  • Department of Horticulture
  • Department of Plant Pathology
  • Northeast Greenhouse Conference

International focus: 

  • United States of America
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • South Africa

United States focus: 

  • New York