Abstracts 1999 part 2

00-03-026    Moody, Lynn

Paired Watershed monitoring for Water Quality and Sustainable Range Management, Morro Bay Watershed, California

The Morro Bay estuary is arguably the most important wetland system on the south central coast of California.  The estuary and its watershed, representing a diverse biological and economic resource to the people of California, are impacted by various pollutants, with sediment of particular concern.  As part of a U.S.-EPA-funded National Monitoring Program, a paired watershed study on Cal Poly’s Escuela Ranch has shown that BMPs aimed at reducing erosion and sedimentation associated with cattle grazing appear to result in improvement of water quality.  The same BMPs have resulted in an increase in residual vegetation that is harvested by the cattle during the dry season.  The objective of this proposed study is to extend monitoring of hydrology and water quality for an additional year, and to monitor range forage quality (protein and fiber) for three years.

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00-03-028    Noel, Jay

An Economic Analysis of California Wild Rice Processing

The California wild rice industry accounts for approximately 60% of world production while using only about 20,000 acres in the Sacramento Valley.  Introduction of a new hybrid variety of wild rice is expected to increase current yields by a factor of 2.5.  It is likely that, given the growth in production, output wholesale prices will drop.  For the California wild rice industry to grow and prosper, it must search for better and cheaper ways of production and/or increase consumer demand.  This project will perform demand analysis for wild rice and use a systems approach to production costs.  This will include evaluating the economic impact of changes in processing technology, processing capacity, unit processing costs, inventory costs, transportation costs, and location of processing plant on total cost.

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00-03-027    Noel, Jay

An Economic Feasibility Analysis of Forming a California Wheat Growers Marketing Cooperative

California wheat growers are looking for new marketing opportunities in order to obtain a higher rate of return from the marketplace for their production and to become less reliant on government programs for their economic survival.  There are over 30 different varieties of wheat grown in California and many of them are specialty varieties for niche processing markets.  This project will attempt to address the feasibility of forming a cooperative of wheat growers in the State.  The formation of an agricultural cooperative can be driven by a number of motivations.  The primary reasons hypothesized are: benefits from economies of scale, the capture of marketing margins from other stages of the marketing channel, gain from improved coordination of production and marketing, and increased market access.

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00-03-030    Offermann, Gene

Use of Various Organisms in field Experiments to Enhance Crop Quality & Yields

It has been found that some microorganisms can enhance crop quality and yield, reduce the needs for pesticides and fertilizer, and improve nutritional quality.  This project is designed to test the effects of these organisms on broccoli.  Anticipated benefits to growers include reduced cost and better long term health of the soil.  Benefits to consumers would be increased flavor and nutrition with less pesticide residue and possibly lower costs.

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00-03-032    Pedersen, Mary

Mechanism of Appetite Suppression Induced by Simmondsin Administration of Rats

Simmondsin, extracted from jojoba meal, has been previously demonstrated to reduce food intake when fed to rats in a mixed meal.  Studies will be performed to verify the food reduction effect of this compound and test several derivatives of simmondsin to begin to identify the mechanism of appetite suppression.  Dose-response analysis will be done in combination with monitoring the status of the rats for any toxic effects of simmondsin supplementation.  Items to be monitored include daily food intakes, biweekly weights, hematological status and physical appearance.

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00-3-033    Piirto, Douglas

Silvicultural Management Strategies for Pitch Canker Infected Ano Nuevo Stands of Monterey Pine

Pitch canker has become a major cause of growth loss, mortality, and associated economic impacts in California Monterey pine forests.  Very little is known as to how to prevent the spread of this disease to other areas and other conifer species.  A unique opportunity exists to develop long-term Monterey pine forest management studies at Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch in Santa Cruz county: a Forest Management Plan has been in place for almost a decade; two timber harvests have already been completed; 50 acres of native Monterey pine from the Ano Nuevo stand is on this property; and there are approximately 35 artificially created Monterey pine plantations in the area that also suffer from pitch canker.  This proposal covers the initial phases of a larger project.  These phases include study design for all affected areas and the development of seedlings resistant to the disease.  Planting of these seedlings will begin in plots with different management profiles to determine biological success in the wild.

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00-3-036    Pillsbury, Norman

Application of Urban Tree Volume Equations to Determine Biomass in Community Forests

Cities throughout California are constantly seeking new ways to manage their urban forest resources.  Maintenance of urban species represents a high cost to communities primarily due to the intensity of labor, cost of equipment, and cost of disposal.  The purpose of this study is to show communities how to manage their urban forests specifically in relation to the potential use of woody biomass rather than the more traditional and costly practice of disposal.  Existing tree inventories and volume equations will be used to estimate biomass potential from several communities.  Data will be transferred back to the source cities which can then collaborate to explore market alternatives.

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00-3-037    Rice, Jr., Robert

Integrated Pest Management of Greenhouse and Silverleaf Whitefly in Poinsettia Utilizing Reflective Mulches & Sticky Tape

Poinsettia is the leading potted plant crop in the U.S. with approximately 80% of the cuttings originating in California.  Although several insect pests are important, whitefly is arguably the most serious.  Both greenhouse and silverleaf whiteflies have become increasingly difficult to control.  Chemical options are decreasing while resistance is increasing.  Reflective mulches have been shown to be effective in lowering oviposition on foliage in field crops, but their use in greenhouse situations is not well documented.  Yellow sticky tape has been shown to attract and trap flying whiteflies.  This research will investigate the optimal use of reflective mulches in conjunction with the use of yellow sticky tape for poinsettias grown in greenhouses.

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00-3-042    Ruehr, Thomas

Calcium Release Rate from Soils

The rate of release of potassium is the major controlling factor for potassium nutrition of crops even though the soils may have an abundance of potassium.  This might be the case for calcium also because field responses indicate that calcium nitrate fertilizer is providing more effect that just the nitrate alone.  This project will analyze calcium release rates from many soil types under conditions both lab and cropping conditions.  In the case of crops, corn will be grown on soils with different calcium release rates and analyzed for mineral content on harvesting.

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00-3-038    Ruehr, Thomas

Fertilizer Rate Response in Grapes, Tree Crops and Citrus on Cooperating Growers' Orchards and Vineyards

As industry produces new fertilizers for crops, field tests must be conducted to assess effectiveness on a wide range of crop types.  This project will assess the effects of several new fertilizers on grapes, tree crops and citrus grown on different soil conditions in many parts of California.  Soil and tissue analysis will be conducted prior to fertilizer application and at three subsequent times.  The crop yield will be related to the fertilizer application rate.  The yield will also be related to the overall crop quality parameters.  The nutrient concentrations in the harvested crop will be evaluated and compared for all nutrients measured.  The nutrient levels in the final harvested crop will be related to the concentrations in the plant tissue samples obtained three times during the growth of the crop.

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00-3-049    Shelton, Mark

Dairy Products Technology Center Administrator

From a modest beginning as a single laboratory in the Food Processing building, the Dairy Products Technology Center (DPTC) has expanded into a multimillion dollar per year research facility with an internationally renowned Dairy Science staff.  There are currently three research directors, three adjunct or visiting faculty, several laboratory specialists and many undergraduate and graduate students.  Additionally, funding has been secured for a milk powder applications lab.  There are a huge number of research grants involved with the work at DPTC and, with all the rapid expansion, a need has been identified for a fulltime dedicated administrator to coordinate grant management activities of the DPTC.

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00-3-051    Strohman, Rollin

Building Cal Poly's Reputation as a GIS Center

Cal Poly is in a unique position to become a leader in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology in agriculture.  Construction is nearing completion on a $200,000 GIS facility; there is a GIS for Agriculture minor; a site license for GIS software has been obtained from the leading vendor (ESRI); and one centimeter accuracy real time Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment has been received from an NSF proposal.  An opportunity exist to participate with companies involved in developing the Waterway Management Plan for San Luis Obispo Creek using this technology to develop a pilot management plan.  New technologies will be integrated by both faculty and students with techniques and results transferred back to the public sector.

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00-3-055    Vance, Robert

A Comparison of the Palatability and Consumer Acceptance of American and Canadian Beef

Cancelled due to shortfall in matching funds.

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00-3-057    Vilkitis, James

Agriculture, Pollution Abatement Wetland Project

Artificial wetlands created specifically for the purpose of pollution abatement to the national waters are exempt from Clean Water Act permitting.  This project will study the design and construction aspects of artificial wetlands and the parameters for optimum functionality.  An additional component of this project will be technology transfer in the form of educational materials derived from the results.  This will allow planners to use these techniques in other watersheds.

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00-3-058    Walter, Virginia

Solarization as an Effective Soil Disinfestation Alternative with Open/Moving Roof Structure Used for Cut Flowers

Cut flowers grown in fields have very low initial costs but very extensive operating expenditures associated with weed control, vertebrate pest control, and damage by weather.  Additionally, there are environmental concerns over the use of chemicals to control weeds and microorganisms.  Greenhouses provide very controlled environments and good products at the expense of large capital outlays up front.  On the central coast of California, the temperature and humidity are optimal for flower growing; and these conditions provide an opportunity to study retractable roof greenhouses which provide access to the perfect conditions while limiting the negative characteristics of open growing.  In addition, recent studies have shown that solarization can be an effective soil disinfectation method with as little as 4-6 weeks treatment.  This project will characterize the optimum solarization regimen and determine the effects of this treatment on cut flower production.

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00-3-062    Wolf, Marianne

A Marketing Research Study of San Luis Obispo/Five Cities Area Residents' Attitudes Regarding the Local Viticulture and Wine Industry

The recent growth in the viticulture and wine industries in Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande has led to both negative and positive reactions from segments of the community.  There is concern among the local grape growers and wine producers that the negative reactions will impact voters and legislation to forestall future growth.  The primary objective of this project is to use marketing research to understand the attitudes of the general population in the Five Cities area regarding these industries and to determine how accurately the more vocal factions represent the population as a whole.

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00-3-063    Wolf, Marianne

Study of Consumer Attitudes toward Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the Policy Implications

Biotechnology has produced methods for genetically modifying both foods and organisms used in food production.  These methods offer substantial cost benefit to food producers if consumption patterns do not change.  However, there has been considerable negative response to these products in Europe, Japan and Australia.  Both the State of California and the U.S. Congress are considering requiring labeling of food products that result from use of GMOs.  In addition, “guerilla gardeners” are destroying research plots across the country that are suspected of using GMOs.  This project will study consumer attitudes toward GMOs at considerable detail and should produce indications of methods most likely to improve public opinion.

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00-3-064    Zohns, Mark

Mechanical Systems Design Clinic for Agriculture

Agricultural machine manufacturers can invest large amounts in the development of optimal equipment for processing large scale crops, such as corn and soybeans.  However, the crop diversity in California precludes these same manufacturers from investing similar resources to develop optimal equipment for specialty crops grown on significantly smaller acreages.  Specialized niche agribusinesses, whether producer, processor, supplier or other, may be characterized by: small scale operation; smaller production volumes; unique or unusual requirements or constraints dictated by their market niche; or special requirements necessary to achieve a value-added processing goal.  The Mechanical Systems Design Clinic in the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department at CalPoly offers an opportunity for seniors to apply knowledge gained during their engineering education to the solution of real-world mechnical system development problems.  Simultaneously, the agriculture industry will benefit from having fresh approaches taken to current challenges.

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