This work was supported by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and approved for publication as journal series R-08225.
Allen D. Owings, Charles E. Johnson, and M. LeRon Robbins
Educational and research opportunities utilizing native plant species are being developed by the LSU Agricultural Center through the recent establishment of a native plant arboretum at the Calhoun Research Station. Plants indigenous to Louisiana and surrounding states are being collected and planted in the arboretum for evaluation of potential values for landscaping, in food industries, and/or wildlife management. Native trees being studied include species of oak (Quercus), maple (Acer), hickory (Carya), and dogwood (Cornus). Lesser known species of holly (Ilex) and hawthorn (Crataegus), are being evaluated for commercial production and landscape potential. Fruit being collected for field orchard studies include mayhaw (Crataegus opaca), pawpaw (Asimina triloba), and several native plums (Prunus spp.).
Frank G. Dennis, John F. Kelly, and Wink Laurie
A sketch of Eustace Hall is on the cover of this issue of HortScience. Eustace Hall was designed by Liberty Hyde Bailey and was the first building in the United States devoted exclusively to the study and teaching of horticulture. It was completed in 1888—the year of the founding of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station. It was named Eustace Hall in memory of Harry J. Eustace, Department Head from 1908–1919. In addition to offices and classrooms, the twostory brick structure contained a photographic darkroom and rooms for grafting and storage of nursery stock. Now the home of the University College, it is the second oldest building on campus.
Norman R. Scott, Corinne Johnson Rutzke, and Louis D. Albright
One of the deterrents to the commercial adoption of controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) on a broad scale is the significant energy cost for lighting and thermal environmental control. Advances in energy conversion technologies, such as internal combustion engines (ICs), microturbines and fuel cells, offer the potential for combined heat and power (CHP) systems, which can be matched with the needs of CEA to reduce fossil-based fuels consumption. A principal concept delineated is that an integrated entrepreneurial approach to create business and community partnerships can enhance the value of energy produced (both electrical and heat). Energy production data from a commercial dairy farm is contrasted with energy use data from two greenhouse operations with varying energy-input requirements. Biogass produced from a 500-cow dairy combined with a 250-kW fuel cell could meet nearly all of the energy needs of both the dairy and an energy-intensive 740-m2 CEA greenhouse lettuce facility. The data suggest CEA greenhouses and other closely compatible enterprises can be developed to significantly alter agriculture, as we have known it.
Robert J. Hoard and Michael J. Brewer
University (MSU)] for reviewing an earlier version of this paper. This work was supported, in part, by grants from MSU Project GREEEN, The Joyce Foundation, and the Center for Agricultural Partnerships as provided by the American Farmland Trust and the
Ruth Y. Iwata, Kent Fleming, and Scott Campbell
AgNet-Hawaii is a computer-based information transfer system (CBIS) established at the Beaumont Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, Hawaii to improve communication among research, extension and farmers on the island of Hawaii and with the island of Oahu. AgNet-Hawaii is one node of a Pacific-wide network of CBIS nodes, whose hub is the Coconut Telegraph CBIS on the Manoa Campus of the University of Hawaii on Oahu.
AgNet-Hawaii has file and conference areas, the capability of uploading and downloading files, issuing bulletins, and sending files attached to messages. Access is by computer and modem with the following modem protocols: Telephone (808) 969-3025 (AgNet-Hawaii), (808) 956-2626 (Coconut Telegraph), Data Bits: 8, Parity: N, Stop Bits: 1, Speed: 300/1200/2400/9600/14.4K bps.
A number of factors have emerged in recent years, grown in importance, and are now converging rapidly to create a window of opportunity for all of us. These factors constitute six separate, but related and important, categories: 1) Decreasing staff in the nation's Cooperative Extension System; 2) increasing complexity of agricultural production technologies; 3) increasing concerns of society; 4) opening of markets globally; 5) increased need for accountability; and 6) rapid progress in computerized information and communication technologies. These factors concurrently are causing greater sharing of expertise and resources across states, institutions, and departments; more cooperation with the private sector; improved openness and communication on issues of interest to the community; greater awareness of our role in the world; and a willingness to consider new approaches. One of these approaches involves the development of comprehensive national decision support resources for producers and those who work with producers in an educational, advisory or service role. This program, which has evolved over the past 10 years, is Agricultural Databases for Decision Support (ADDS). ADDS projects may be developed for any commodity, clientele, or major issue area. Products already available include the National Dairy Database and the National Pig Information Database. Several additional projects are underway and more will be added as interest warrants. The ADDS hallmark applies to those projects that follow the philosophy and meet the criteria agreed to by the greater community of developers and users. ADDS uses the sophisticated search and retrieval mechanism and multimedia capabilities of commercially available software. This software is applied to a cooperatively developed national resource of peer-reviewed materials that are selected by experts for their usefulness.
M.K. Ehlenfeldt, A.D. Draper, and J.R. Clark
In the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began developing low-chill-adapted highbush blueberry (Vacchizium corymbosum L.) for the southern United States (lat. 29° to 32°N) by using germplasm of the native southern species, V. darrowi Camp. This breeding work resulted in the release of several low-chill southern highbush blueberry (SHB) cultivars in the mid-1980s. These cultivars have been evaluated for yield and adaptation at several locations through the southern regional blueberry germplasm evaluation trials. These trials have shown that organic mulch is required for good performance of SHB. The one-fourth V. darrowi composition of SHB cultivars presents problems of freeze damage at some locations. This problem may be resolved by breeding cultivars through several alternative approaches.
Agricultural databases have existed in one form or another from time immemorial. However, their usefulness to horticulturists has not been the greatest. Many databases exist today that one can use to research developments in agriculture. However, none exists that allow a horticulturist to rapidly focus on a subject with the assurance that the information is accurate. Accuracy of information, especially that which can readily be used by Extension horticulture specialists and agents, is not guaranteed. The Cooperative Extension System (CES) through several state specialist and the National Program Leader at USDA developed a list of current and available Extension literature on three distinct subjects during the early 1980s. These lists were compiled by the Specialists and were placed in an electronic format (bulletin board) available through the nascent CES electronic network. This effort was abandoned 3 years after inception due to lack of use by CES staff. One of the reasons for not using these lists so as not to reinvent the wheel was that electronic communication at that time was very expensive. Other reasons were that it was cumbersome and did not include text. There was no quality assurance of any kind. In the case of this primitive database in horticulture, personal contacts were much more useful and convenient. Indeed there are many databases that have horticultural subjects included and many more are being created. These are only marginally useful to us in horticulture. There is a shining nova in our horizon today. HortBase offers the best chance we in horticulture, and especially in Extension horticulture programs, have of being able to use data (written and hopefully in other media) that meet our specific requirements. HortBase will be a peer-reviewed accumulation of our experiences and experiments whether in the classroom or in the field. It has a great potential to become one of our best tools for program development and delivery. We in horticulture, whether at the society, national, state, region, or county level, must help in the development and maintenance of this rising star so that it truly reaches its full potential.
Marvin L. Baker
In North America, cultivation of Mayhaws (Crataegus opaca L.) is rare; most commercial harvest is taken from the wild. Crataegus opaca is distributed in northeast Texas, east Texas and southeast Texas along the flood plains of the Angelina and Neuches rivers and their watersheds. Mayhaws are difficult to define due to unusual factors relating to reproduction, including apomixis, or the development of an embryo from cells other than sex cells. Mayhaws are valued for economic use as food, medicine and ornamentals. Since the hawthorn has shown extremely low toxicity in every animal tested, the discovery of isolated constituents thru research has caused pharmacological interest. A small orchard plot of selections with ripened fruit measuring larger than 2.5 cm up to 3.1 cm with bright red or pink color is being established for selecting possible cultivars for medicinal or food uses.
Five Crataegus opaca selections were collected due to showing spurtype, large fruits and thornlessness. Yearly production of fruit was noted for five years (even after late freezes) while selections grew in Taggert's Flat, Neuches river bottom, Angelina County. Seedlings are being grafted for further evaluations and uses in sustainable agricultural ecosystems.