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Catherine G. Campbell, Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar, and Alia DeLong

in urban and peri-urban areas [U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS), 2021]. In Florida, 44 of 67 counties are classified as urban counties by the USDA; this is up from 38 counties in 2003 (USDA-ERS, 2021). Because

Open access

Roy Bainer

Abstract

The strong position of the United States in today's world is largely due to a prospering mechanized agricultural industry-an industry that produces the nation's food and fiber in abundance with around 6 per cent of the nation's working force on the production line. The millions released from producing the necessities of life are freed to other industries, services and professions, thereby contributing to America's remarkable industrial expansion and the prevailing high standard of living.

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Mike Murray, Bob Beede, Bill Weir, and Jack Williams

Physiological effects on plant growth caused by the plant hormone ethylene have been noted for many years. More than 100 years ago, workers noted that illuminating gas or broken gas mains had deleterious effects on surrounding trees or plants. It was not until the 1960s that scientists documented that plant growth may be manipulated by applying ethylene. Some of the biological effects since noted include premature defoliation, fruit maturation ripening, induction of flowering, stimulation of sprouting or germination, and shortening of plant height. These effects are noted on a wide variety of agricultural crops, including vegetables, field crops, tree crops, and ornamentals. Ethylene is a gas and dissipates rapidly, and, thus, does not lend itself to field application. In the 1960s, the product ethephon [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] was developed. When taken up by the plant, ethephon is converted to ethylene in the cells and becomes available for physiological interactions. Because ethephon precipitates a wide variety of biological reactions, application technology becomes extremely important. Factors such as plant growth stage, plant stress status, plant foliage spray coverage, ethephon rates, and environmental conditions determine the responses obtained. An example is provided by processing tomatoes, where the desired response is to maximize fruit maturity enhancement and minimize premature defoliation—both ethylene responses. We have selected five agricultural applications of ethephon as examples of how plant growth may be altered. These are: increased boll opening in cotton; enhanced pistillate flower induction in hybrid squash seed; accelerated fruit maturity in processing tomatoes; enhanced hull splitting in walnuts; and reduced lodging in wheat. Each of these applications, and others, are common in California agriculture. Brevity necessitates providing only a summary of relevant applied research activities, which are not intended to be complete or thorough. Details on specific ethephon applications may be obtained from that particular researcher.

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Russell Clemings

From its birth in British India in 1847, modern irrigated desert agriculture has grown in just more than a century to produce one-third of the world's crops. Until the techniques of civil engineering were wedded to the ancient art of irrigation on the plains of the Punjab, most crops were rain-fed, except in areas such as the Nile Valley, where reliable seasonal floods made irrigation practical. Today, in contrast, we have made the desert bloom, giving ourselves fresh produce yearround and making the difference between survival and starvation in much of the developing world. Without irrigation, it would not have been possible to farm the high-yielding seeds of the Green Revolution, which greatly reduced the threat of famine in Asia and Latin America. But now, after a century of heavy irrigation, serious side effects are beginning to appear. Soils are becoming salinized by the cycles of wetting and drying in an arid climate, and wildlife has been poisoned by toxic drainage pumped from beneath irrigated fields where it has built up over time. These side effects have caused some to predict that the bounty of modern desert agriculture may not be sustainable, but others see hope of reducing the side effects through vastly improved water management.

Open access

Joseph R. Heckman, Uta Krogmann, and Christian A. Wyenandt

mulching were proposed alternatives, with composting currently being the most common alternative. However, collected shade tree leaves can be a valuable resource as mulch and soil amendment for many agricultural purposes. Every autumn, New Jersey

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Gilberto Uribe and Luisa Santamaria

appropriate for agricultural workers. This is despite the 63.5% increase in Oregon’s Hispanic population from 2000 to 2010 ( U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 ). Previous extension work has demonstrated that reaching out to the Hispanic population often requires

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Heather Friedrich*, Curt R. Rom, Jennie Popp, Barbara Bellows, and Donn Johnson

Interest IN and conversion to sustainable agriculture practices, such as organic agriculture, integrated pest management or increasing biodiversity, has been increasing for a number of years among farmers and ranchers across the United States In order to meet the needs of producers, university researchers and educators must adapt their program areas to reflect this change toward sustainable agriculture practices. Although consumers, producers, and extension workers have been surveyed regarding their attitudes and interests in sustainable agricultural practices, few surveys have examined sustainable agriculture perceptions among university agriculture professionals. The object of this study was to survey 200 agriculture professionals, including research scientists, classroom educators of the Land-Grant agricultural college and the Cooperative Extension service of a southern state with a traditional agricultural economy in order to determine their perceptions and attitudes toward sustainable agriculture and to gather information on current research and education activities relevant to sustainable agriculture. Seventy-eight questions were asked concerning professional incentives, personal and professional importance of topics under the sustainable agriculture rubric, current research and educational activities, and demographics. By conducting this research we hope to identify factors that are an impedance or assistance to future research and education to support sustainable agriculture. The survey findings will provide a foundation for directing and developing agriculture research and education programs for row crops, fruit, vegetable and livestock production.

Open access

Dwight Steen and Paul Kretchmer

Abstract

In the 13 countries and Caribbean islands where the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) has programs in Latin America, the agricultural sector is still the dominant economic force. Over half the population of these countries lives in rural areas, in spite of high migration rates to the cities. Agriculture is the primary economic activity: Agriculture generates 68% of the foreign exchange necessary to buy imported products; it contributes 20% of the gross domestic product of these economies; agriculture is the single most important source of employment (employing from 40% in Peru to 70% in Haiti) of the entire labor force; and agriculture contributes about 50% of the value added to these economies.

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Delbert D. Hemphill Jr.

Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Paper no. 9961.

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Takaho Taniguchi and Rie Akamatsu

-sufficiency with respect to food production. Foods originating in Japan accounted for only 40% of the total calories consumed in this country in 2009 [ Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), 2010 ]. Therefore, Japan promotes using locally