Abstracts 1999 Part 1
Analysis of Financial & Marketing Efficiency of California Racing Fairs & Their Satellite Wagering Facilities
Horse racing in many states is a far larger industry than most other animal agriculture-business enterprises. California has the most important county/state fair racing sector in the country, which cumulatively ranks as the seventh largest racing organization in the United States. But even with this relative size, emphasis in California racing has always been on urban center racing and consequent racing industry analysis has often ignored or minimized the role of California racing fair. This project will utilize financial and marketing data on fairs, western regional racetracks, and urban center tracks from California to benchmark the performance and provide measures of relative efficiency of track operations within their respective markets.
Effects of Varying Initial Implant on Growth & Performance, Carcass Characteristics, & Meat Tenderness in Holstein Steers
The use of growth-promoting implants in the U.S. is widespread, although optimization of compound type and onset of implant exposure has not been completely resolved. In particular, although implants dramatically increase average daily gain (~10%) and feed efficiency (~15%), there is evidence that implants decrease quality grades (Prime, Choice, Select and Standard) and tenderness of the meat. The preponderance of research has been conducted on traditional beef cattle genetics. While the vast majority of the cattle fed in the U.S. are of traditional beef cattle background, many steers enter feedlots as byproducts of the dairy industry. Indeed, California places approximately 600,000 Holstein steers in feedlots annually. Due to the profound differences in growth characteristics between dairy breeds and cattle of more traditional beef genetics, the Holstein steers are fed for a longer period of time and thus are subjected to repeated implanting regimens. As more investigators report on the interaction between genetic influences and implant effects, there is growing concern that traditional implant regimens are not adequately tested in Holstein steers. The objective of the proposed research is to test the temporal effect of initial implant exposure in feedlot Holstein steers. Specifically, the following responses will be measured: (1) effect on growth and efficiency characteristics, (2) influence on quality grade, yield grade, dressing percent and ribeye area, and (3) determine the effect of implant timing on meat tenderness. The working hypothesis of the research is that the optimal time of implant exposure onset can be identified to optimize the increased gain and efficiency while minimizing the detrimental effects on carcass quality.
The Contribution of Dairy Foods to Nutrient Intakes and Health in the US
The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship of dairy product consumption to several indicators of health and well-being (including intakes of select dietary nutrients; food group intake patterns and adherence to Food Guide Pyramid recommendations; perceived health; body mass index; and vitamin-mineral supplement use). In addition, patterns of dairy product intake (i.e., consumption at breakfast, lunch, dinner, during snacks, and away from hoe) will be assessed. Publicly-available data from USDA’s Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) 1994-96 will be analyzed. This dataset included 16,103 individuals nationwide who provided 2 nonconsecutive days of recalled food intake and responses to many demographic and health-related questions.
Estimating Evaporation on Irrigated Agricultural Lands in California
California’s economic and environmental well-beings are closely linked to the state’s water management. Water conveyance and utilization is a huge energy consumer in the state. Future scenarios of how much water will be pumped from the groundwater and from the Delta, as well as future energy needs for water treatment, all require good estimates of water balances. However, the fundamental data used in these estimates are based on flawed models of Evapotranspiration (ET). These flaws include: 1) values published as “ET” rather than Evaporation and Transpiration components; 2) values only including estimates of ET during the crop growing season, and ignoring ET during the rest of the year and on fallow ground; 3) no separation of the contribution of irrigation vs. rainfall to evaporation and 4) correspondingly, no way to account for differences in irrigation and soil management practices. This project will attempt to provide both better estimates for E&T and water balance using accurate data from current, highly-controlled, irrigation projects.
Long-term Evaluation of Suspended Sediment Exiting a Coastal Mountain Stream Following Selection Timber Harvesting Activities
Current Santa Cruz County and State of California forest practice rules regarding timber harvesting have not been tested to see if these practices adequately protect local watersheds from possible resultant adverse sediment-related impacts. This project will evaluate the effects of selection timber harvesting in the Little Creek watershed using a paired watershed and upstream/downstream study design. Event-based samples will be collected using automated water quality samplers and analyzed in a lab on-site. Five years of data will be analyzed before the next harvesting activity planned for 2004, allowing for a broad range of baseline conditions.
Fire History, Forest Structure, and Early Land Uses in a Jeffrey Pine-Mixed Conifer Forest under an Unmanaged Fire Regime
(originally awarded to Scott Stephens with Samantha Gill as co-PI; Dr. Stephens has now left CalPoly for UC Berkeley)
The relative absence of fire in the 20th century and past harvesting operations have modified the structure and ecosystem processes in the coniferous forests of California. The U.S. Forest Service is currently developing standards and guidelines for federal lands in the Sierra Nevada. A pre-European settlement ecosystem structure has been chosen as the desired future model but there is little known about those conditions. The Sierra San Pedro Martir range in Baja California represents a unique opportunity to study just those conditions. It is a Jeffrey Pine-mixed conifer forest that has never been logged and never managed for fire suppression. This project will produce a biometric model of this forest that can be used for structure and ecosystem planning in the Sierra Nevada.
Effects of High Density-Short Duration and Open Cattle Grazing on Oak Woodland/Savanna Rangeland
Evidence shows that grazing by domestic livestock plays an important role in the ecological system of California’s 40 million acres of rangeland. Two different types of grazing regimens, high intensity-short duration (HISD) and open grazing will be compared against no grazing to quantify the affect that grazing has on forage diversity, productivity and quality. Limited scientific research has been conducted to quantify the affect that grazing has on our California ecosystem. The objective of this study will quantitatively assess the impact of HISD on natural ecosystems, and particularly on the oak/woodland savanna (OWS) rangelands that are so important to the cattle industry in California. Specifically, the research will consist of quantitative comparisons in grazed and ungrazed areas and will include detailed measurements of the following: (1) beef production; (2) forage productivity and quality; (3) soil quality, erodeability, and soil nutrient content; (4) pasture cover and species diversity; and (5) natural oak recruitment. The working hypothesis of the research is that good grazing practices will enhance forage production and quality, therefore increasing beef productivity.
Processing Parameters and GMPs for Optimal Application of Ozone in Food Processing
One estimate of incidence of foodborne illness in the U.S. is twice per year per citizen resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. Although it is recognized that most infringements on the safety of food occur at home or in final preparation and serving, major outbreaks can occur when the processor has a contamination problem. Use of ozone in the aqueous phase can kill all forms of microorganisms without either damaging food or leaving a harmful residue. The optimal combination of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and ozone must be established. In addition, ozonation holds tremendous promise in assuring the safe reuse of water. This project will investigate current practices in ozone application on raw fruits and vegetables. Information on the water quality parameters necessary to achieve success will be gathered and pilot studies run to determine the optimal use of ozone in food processing operations. Microbial reduction and inoculation challenge study investigations will be performed on both domestic and foreign (Mexico) process waters and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Citrus IPM: Secondary Pest Biology and Demography
Secondary pests, such as the forktailed katydid, have been in the past only minor or non-economic pests of citrus in California. Recently, both the cottony cushion scale and the forktailed katydid have become major citrus pests. In the case of the cottony cushion scale, the use of the insect growth regulator “Knack” against California red scale led to the decimation of the vedalia beetle which was the introduced natural enemy of the cottony cushion scale. To control this pest, an extremely toxic, broad-spectrum pesticide was used; and this, in turn, has led to secondary outbreaks of citrus red mite and further use of pesticides. In the case of the outbreak of katydid, little is known about the cause, but a solid biological knowledge should lead to better management decisions and less expense for both the growers and the public. This project will provide details on the individual and population biology of the forktailed katydid.
The Economic Impact of Visitors to Morro Bay State Park and Local Communities
State Parks are an important aspect of tourism strategies and economic development. Although studies have been conducted that estimate the economic impact and benefits of various natural resources recreational activities on counties and states, there has been a demand for data at the local level. The Morro Bay State Park and the City of Morro Bay provide a unique opportunity to study the economic impact of visitors to each as well as to study the interrelations of the two attractions.
Mucinase Activity of Probiotic Bacteria
Probiotic bacteria are being investigated with regard to the mechanisms by which they appear to convey health benefits. The purported benefits include improvement of gastrointestinal health, immune system modulation and anti-carcinogenic activities. One mechanism for these effects involves the mucinous layer which protects the epithelium of the GI tract. Some probiotic bacteria have been shown to induce mucin production by intestinal cells in vitro. In ulcerative colitis patients, fecal flora were shown to be more active in mucin breakdown. This breakdown was caused by mucinase produced by the bacteria. This project will study and characterize many common strains of probiotic bacteria used as processed food ingredients with regard to their mucinase activities. This should lead to safer and more effective use of these products in the food industry.
Program for Microbial Quality Improvement of Milk Powder Produced in California
California produces 45% of all the skim milk powder in the U.S. However, the current government price support system will end in a few years. Keeping costs of production low and quality standards high while staying competitive with international sources is the industry priority. While production costs may be difficult to control, getting to higher quality control standards set by industry buyers may be the easiest way to maintain market share. The principal issue in quality control is low thermophilic spore count. A preliminary study has identified the points of contamination in the milk powder production process. This project is designed to generate a method for easy detection and quantification of spore contamination and to refine procedures to increase the efficiency of spore removal from milk powder. These efforts should improve quality in the short term while longer term studies continue to identify ways to reduce contamination during the production process.
Evaluation of Bulk Modified Atmosphere Packaging for Fruit and Vegetables
Global consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is rising rapidly. Lucrative Pacific Rim markets have been inaccessible to California growers because of long shipping times. European markets have now severely restricted the use of standard wood pulp product packaging. This study is designed to extend the marketability of California produce by combining a new shipping container that is plastic, reusable and hermetically sealed and optimal shipping conditions for 4 highly popular products. These conditions are dependent on the initial parameters of the produce (including maturity and surface microbial load), the type and quantity of packaging inside the shipping container, and the atmosphere within that container (temperature, humidity, and gas mixture).
Control of Citrus Nematode in Citrus with a Biological Nematocide
The citrus nematode is a widespread pest of citrus in California, reducing growth, stunting trees, and reducing size and quantity of fruit. Pesticides previously available to combat this organism are highly toxic and are so hazardous to workers and the environment that they are limited as to time and method of application. A biological nematocide recently developed by Abbott Laboratories is less toxic and more flexible while still effective in tests in vineyards. This project will test this new product for effectiveness in orchards of navel oranges and Valencia oranges over a three-year period.
Utilization of Lye Peeling Waste from Tomato Processing
Presently, the tomato processing industry in California converts more than 10 million tons of tomatoes each year into tomato sauce, puree and paste for both retail and commercial food sales. In this process, a hot, very alkaline solution is used to facilitate removal of the tomato skins. The resulting waste stream has been very costly to dispose of in municipal sewer systems. This project will focus on the utilization of this alkaline tomato waste by acidification and byproduct recovery in the manufacturing process of tomato puree.