Feb 25, 2016
Peat-Lite Co-Inventor DiesSource: Smithers-Oasis

James Boodley, former professor at Cornell University and research scientist at Smithers-Oasis Company, passed away on Feb. 12.

Boodley, was the chairman of the Horticultural Department at Cornell. He was co-inventor of the first commercial growing media — a mixture of Canadian peat moss perlite, vermiculite and nutrients, known as the Cornell peatlite mixture. This was one of the early breakthrough products, allowing commercial greenhouses to mass produce seedlings.

In 1965, Boodley wrote Vegetables and Flowering Plant Production, followed in 1981 by the authoritative text on Commercial Greenhouse Management. In later years, he rewrote it for a second and third edition.

In 1983 he joined the Smithers-Oasis Company in Kent, Ohio and was a research scientist with the company until his retirement in 1999. During his tenure, Boodley received the SAF Alex Laurie Award. Boodley, was instrumental in developing patented products and processes used in the grower industry today as well as protocol used in the shipping and handling of fresh cut flowers, the company said.

During his career he consulted, taught, mentored graduate students, did extension work, and was active in the industry.