Here Are Some Updated Management Tips
The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), in conjunction with the National Plant Board, has released an updated version of its Boxwood Blight Best Management Practices, version 2.0, and is now available online at HRIResearch.org.
In 2012, the nursery and floriculture industry was still reeling from the discovery of boxwood blight (BB) in 2011. HRI quickly established a fund dedicated to BB research and a BB working group composed of industry leaders and National Plant Board (NPB) representatives. Since 2012, the industry rallied behind a coalition of researchers dedicated to finding the best management strategies for this disease. Resources to support these research efforts have come from different sources, including directly from the industry through the HRI grants program, the IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program administered by NIFA, and from the Farm Bill, Section 10007 funds administered by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Section 10007 has allocated nearly $3 million alone to BB.
While researchers know of only three host plants for BB, economic impact is potentially quite large, with more than $20 million annually in retail sales. Boxwood blight is confirmed in 24 states, with Illinois and Missouri being among the latest detections. There are a few states yet with significant boxwood production where the disease has not been confirmed, including Texas and Louisiana. APHIS recently confirmed BB in Illinois. University of Illinois Extension personnel are confident that the infected plants did not likely originate from an Illinois nursery.