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Winston C. Dunwell

SERA-IEG-27, Southern Extension and Research Activities–Information Exchange Group–27, is sponsored by the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. Thirteen states cooperate with Official Representatives from Extension and Research programs. The objective of the group is to identify, evaluate, select, and disseminate information on superior environmentally sustainable landscape plants for nursery crop production and landscape systems in the Southeast. Plants are distributed to those responding to a request for plant evaluation cooperation. Those that agree to cooperate are expected to grow a liner to landscape size, plant it in an landscape setting and evaluate the plant (numerically, a scale of 1–10 for insect damage, disease damage, cold damage, heat stress, growth rate, flower, fruit, fall color, production potential, landscape potential, invasive potential, and insect disease transmission potential, as well as plant height and width and time/duration of bloom). Following evaluation the group is to collectively and individually disseminate information gained from the plant evaluation system to a wide variety of audiences.

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Dwight Wolfe and Winston Dunwell

Cut flowers from field-grown hydrangeas are a potential alternative source of income for Kentucky growers. Early production is important to receive immediate returns of ones investment. In Spring 1998, a hydrangea cultivar trial was established at the Univ. of Kentucky Research and Education Center, Princeton. The planting consisted of 12 plants each of nine cultivars (`Annabelle', `Boskoop', `Pink Diamond', `Unique', `Kyushu', `Tardiva', `Pee Wee', `Alice', and `White Moth') allocated to 12 rows (blocks) in a randomized block design. Date of first bloom, number of inflorescence at first bloom, number of stems and their length were recorded. The cultivars `Unique', `Pink Diamond', and `Tardiva' yielded significantly more flowers with commercially desirable stem lengths (>45 cm) than did `Annabelle' and `Boskoop'. `Alice' and `White Moth' did not bloom.

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Winston C. Dunwell and Dwight E. Wolfe

Common persimmon, Diospyros virginiana, a medium to large, attractive native tree of narrow habit, is potentially a valuable landscape tree due to its tolerance of diverse environmental conditions. Previous work by the authors demonstrated that seed stored in perlite or peat moss had a higher percent germination following cold storage than seed stored without media. Seeds were prepared for cold storage by two methods: 1) moist seed—cleaned (cap, skin, and the easily removed pulp discarded), and (2) dry seed—cleaned, dried for three days, and the remaining pulp removed. The media were either dried or moistened, but not saturated. The treatments were: 1) moist seeds; 2) dry seeds; 3) moist seeds in dry perlite; 4) moist seeds in moist perlite; 5) dry seeds in dry perlite; 6) dry seeds in moist perlite; 7) moist seeds in dry peat moss; 8) moist seeds in moist peat moss; 9) dry seeds in dry peat moss; 10) dry seeds in moist peat moss. Seed was stored at 4.4° for 142 days. Germination of seed stored in dry perlite was not significantly different from that stored in moist perlite or peat moss, but dry peat moss significantly limited germination regardless of seed preparation.

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Richard E. Durham and Winston C. Dunwell

GardenData.org developed from a need, identified by a survey of Kentucky county Extension agents, for a database resource to assist in answering frequently asked questions (FAQs) from home gardeners and consumers. A team, consisting of representatives from both the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University and made up of an administrator, horticul-ture specialists, county Extension agents, and agricultural communication specialists, worked together to create GardenData.org. Development of the database of FAQs in consumer or home horticulture began in 2004 and all content is peer reviewed by Kentucky Extension specialists before making answers publicly available. An interactive prototype program was launched for use by county Extension agents in February 2005. Following a positive response Gardendata.org was made publicly available in Summer 2005. Clients are asked their electronic mail address and Kentucky county in order to enter the web site and to become a repeat user of GardenData.org. Once they have conducted a search of available FAQs, clients may submit a question to GardenData.org to be answered by Kentucky Extension personnel. From recent data (December 2005 and January 2006) the self-service rate for the site is greater than 95%, indicating that most visitors are content to search existing FAQs rather than ask a new question. As new questions are submitted, they are answered by Extension personnel, reviewed and added to the growing database of FAQs.

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Amy Fulcher, Dava Hayden, and Winston Dunwell

The objectives of Kentucky's Sustainable Nursery Production Practices Extension Program are for 1) the Kentucky nursery industry to continue sustained growth and 2) Kentucky growers to produce high quality plants, efficiently use pesticides, be stewards of their land and Kentucky's environment. Sustainable Nursery Program Components are 1) Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Nursery Scouting, Scout Training and Scouting Education for growers, Extension workers, and students; 2) Best Management Practice (BMP) Workshops: BMP VI: Disease Demolition Workshop; 3) Production Practice Demonstration: Pruning Training, Pesticide Handling, and Safety and Environmental Stewartship. 4.) Research: Pruning protocols; Media and media amendments; Precision Fertilization and Irrigation. The Kentucky Nursery Crops Scouting Program scouting guidelines were developed and contained: a weekly scouting/trapping guide; a listing of which pests to look for and on what host plants, and a detailed methodology of precisely how to look for the pest, its damage, and how to record this information such that comparisons could be made across nurseries and seasons.

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Winston Dunwell, Dwight Wolfe, William Maksymowicz, and Darrell Slone

Alternative use for float system greenhouse space is being studied in Kentucky. High sugar sweet corn (Zea mays L.) cultivars direct seeded into cool soils germinate poorly. A float transplant production system was used to produce high sugar sweet corn transplants that could be planted into cool soils. 100 seeds of sugar enhanced (se) 'How Sweet It Is' and super sweet (sh2) 'Early Xtra Sweet' sweet corn cultivars wars seeded into trays with a cell size of either 19 or 49 ml/cell. The trays were floated on heated or unheated water in the greenhouse. Percent germination was significantly influencedby cultivar. A greater percent germination was observed for 'How Sweet It Is' compared to 'Early Xtra Sweet' and for seeds sown in the 49 ml/cell trays compared to the 19 ml/cell trays. No significant differences resulted from varying the water temperature. Transplants were planted into cool soils with direct seeded sweet corn on April 21, 1992. The use of transplants resulted in a significantly greater plant stand and a two week earlier harvest than the use of the direct seeding.

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Amy Fulcher, Juang-Horng (JC) Chong, Sarah A. White, Joseph C. Neal, Jean L. Williams-Woodward, Craig R. Adkins, S. Kristine Braman, Matthew R. Chappell, Jeffrey F. Derr, Winston C. Dunwell, Steven D. Frank, Stanton A. Gill, Frank A. Hale, William E. Klingeman, Anthony V. LeBude, Karen Rane, and Alan S. Windham

With increased mobile device usage, mobile applications (apps) are emerging as an extension medium, well suited to “place-less” knowledge transfer. Conceptualizing, designing, and developing an app can be a daunting process. This article summarizes the considerations and steps that must be taken to successfully develop an app and is based on the authors’ experience developing two horticulture apps, IPMPro and IPMLite. These apps provide information for major pests and plant care tasks and prompt users to take action on time-sensitive tasks with push notifications scheduled specifically for their location. Topics such as selecting between a web app and a native app, choosing the platform(s) for native apps, and designing the user interface are covered. Whether to charge to download the app or have free access, and navigating the intra- and interinstitutional agreements and programming contract are also discussed. Lastly, the nonprogramming costs such as creating, editing, and uploading content, as well as ongoing app management and updates are discussed.

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Amy Fulcher, Sarah A. White, Juang-Horng (JC) Chong, Joseph C. Neal, Jean L. Williams-Woodward, Craig R. Adkins, S. Kristine Braman, Matthew R. Chappell, Jeffrey F. Derr, Winston C. Dunwell, Steven D. Frank, Stanton A. Gill, Frank A. Hale, William E. Klingeman, Anthony V. LeBude, Karen Rane, and Alan S. Windham

Mobile device applications (apps) have the potential to become a mainstream delivery method, providing services, information, and tools to extension clientele. Testing, promoting, and launching an app are key components supporting the successful development of this new technology. This article summarizes the considerations and steps that must be taken to successfully test, promote, and launch an app and is based on the authors’ experience developing two horticulture apps, IPMPro and IPMLite. These apps provide information for major pests and plant care tasks and prompt users to take action on time-sensitive tasks with push notifications scheduled specifically for their location. App testing and evaluation is a continual process. Effective tactics for app testing and evaluation include garnering focus group input throughout app development and postlaunch, in-house testing with simulators, beta testing and the advantages of services that enhance information gained during beta testing, and postlaunch evaluations. Differences in promotional and bulk purchasing options available among the two main device platforms, Android and iOS, are explored as are general preparations for marketing the launch of a new app. Finally, navigating the app submission process is discussed. Creating an app is an involved process, but one that can be rewarding and lead to a unique portal for extension clientele to access information, assistance, and tools.

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Amy Fulcher, Anthony LeBude, Sarah A. White, Matthew R. Chappell, S. Christopher Marble, J.-H (J.C.) Chong, Winston Dunwell, Frank Hale, William Klingeman, Gary Knox, Jeffrey Derr, S. Kris Braman, Nicole Ward Gauthier, Adam Dale, Francesca Peduto Hand, Jean Williams-Woodward, and Steve Frank

Extension and research professionals in the southeastern United States formed the Southern Nursery Integrated Pest Management working group (SNIPM) to foster collaboration and leverage resources, thereby enhancing extension programming, increasing opportunity, and expanding the delivery of specialized expertise to nursery crop growers across a region. Building a productive and lasting working group requires attracting a group of research and extension faculty with complementary expertise, listening to stakeholders, and translating stakeholder needs into grant priorities to help solve problems, all hallmarks of effective teamwork principles. SNIPM has now grown to include 10 U.S. states and 11 institutions and has been awarded seven grants totaling $190,994 since 2009. A striking benefit of working group membership was observed over time: synergy. Greater awareness of individual expertise among SNIPM members, each of whom were focused on different aspects of the nursery production system stimulated multistate extension publications, electronic books (eBooks), mobile device applications (apps), popular press articles, and spin-off research projects when separate foci were combined and directed toward complex challenges. Deliverables achieved from this faculty collaboration include nine peer-reviewed publications, four manuals and books and 23 book chapters, and a combined total of 11 abstracts, conference proceedings and extension publications. To date, the return on investment for SNIPM is one deliverable produced to every $2265.89 in grant funding. SNIPM has also been honored with multiple American Society for Horticultural Science publication awards as well as the Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Center Bright Idea Award for the quality and originality of their project outputs. Continuing to work together toward common goals that bridge technology and serve the nursery industry while supporting each individual member’s program will be crucial to the long-term success of this working group.