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Dewayne L. Ingram

The University of Kentucky's Department of Horticulture, led by the extension faculty working with targeted industry associations, facilitated the creation of the Kentucky Horticulture Council to be the voice of a diverse industry. Leadership in industry strategic planning, promoting the opportunities for expansion of the horticulture industry, and educating state agriculture, legislative and university leaders provided a focus of energy and positioned the industry to access emerging resources. Leadership development has been an anticipated byproduct of this process.

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Dewayne L. Ingram

The contributions of interrelated production system components of a field-grown, 2-m-tall, 5-cm-caliper Picea pungens (colorado blue spruce) in the upper midwestern (liner) and lower midwestern (finished tree) regions of the United States to its carbon footprint were analyzed using life cycle assessment protocols. The seed-to-landscape carbon footprint was 13.558 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), including sequestration of 9.14 kg CO2e during production. The global warming potential (GWP) from equipment use was the dominant contributor to the carbon footprint of production. Seventy-six percent of the GWP investments during field production occurred at harvest. Querying the model, among other things, revealed that adding one year to the field production phase would add less than 3% to the seed-to-landscape GWP of the product. The weighted positive impact of carbon (C) sequestration during a 50-year life was 593 kg CO2e. After its useful life, takedown and disposal would result in emissions of 148 kg CO2e, resulting in a net positive, life cycle impact on atmospheric CO2 of ≈431 kg CO2e.

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Dewayne L. Ingram

This presentation focuses on driving forces and philosophies in the current Age of Accountability and explores ideas of how to respond. The increased scrutiny faced by all public agencies is requiring that Cooperative Extension approach the issue of accountability a bit differently. We must articulate our objectives and values to specific clientele groups, the general public, and government officials. Hard questions are being asked about past and anticipated return on tax dollars invested in state and federal agencies. The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 requires “performance based budgeting” for all federal agencies, including the USDA. Each federal agency must develop an action plan with well-defined objectives and anticipated impacts to justify the allocation of federal funds. The overriding theme is not how busy we are and how many activities we can report, but what has been the impact of our efforts.

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John M. Ruter and Dewayne L. Ingram

High root-zone temperatures have been shown to affect photosynthate partitioning, respiration, nitrogen nutrition and growth of `Rotundifolia' holly. The loss of chlorophyll and protein in shoots of other plants in response to high root-zone temperatures has been documented. Therefore, the objectives of this research were to look at the effects of supraoptimal root-zone temperatures on RUBISCO activity, leaf protein and photosynthetic pigment levels.

Soluble protein levels in leaves increased linearly as root-zone temperature increased from 30 to 42 C. RUBISCO activity per unit protein and per unit chlorophyll responded quadratically to root-zone temperatures. Total chlorophyll, chlorophyll a & b, and carotenoid levels decreased linearly with increasing root-zone temperature. It is possible that `Rotundifolia' holly was capable of redistributing nitrogen to maintain RUBISCO activity for photosynthesis.

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Dewayne L. Ingram and Charles R. Hall

Previously published life cycle assessment (LCA) studies regarding the global warming potential (GWP) of tree production have shown that the carbon footprint during the cradle-to-grave life cycle of a tree can reduce atmospheric CO2. This study provides another unique contribution to the literature by considering other potential midpoint environmental impacts such as ozone depletion, smog, acidification, eutrophication, carcinogenic or non-carcinogenic human toxicity, respiratory effects, ecotoxicity, and fossil fuel depletion for 5-cm-caliper, field-grown, spade-dug trees. Findings from this study validate using data from various literature sources with a single-impact focus on GWP and compiled and calculated in a spreadsheet or using a LCA software package with embedded databases (SimaPro) to generate comparable GWP estimates. Therefore, it is appropriate to use SimaPro to generate midpoint environmental impact estimates in LCA studies of field-grown trees. The authors also compared the midpoint environmental impacts with other agricultural commodities [corn (Zea mays), soybean (Glycine max), potato (Solanum tuberosum), and wool] and determined that trees compare favorably, with the exception that fossil fuel depletion for the trees was greater than the other products as a result of the high equipment use in harvesting and handling trees. In addition, the water footprint (WF) associated with tree production is also determined through LCA using the Hoekstra water scarcity method in SimaPro. The propagation-to-gate WF for the three tree production systems ranged from 0.09 to 0.64 m3 per tree and was highly influenced by irrigation water, which was the major contributor to WF for each production system. As expected, the propagation stage of each tree represented significantly less WF than the field production phase with larger plants and lower planting densities, even with more frequent irrigation/misting in liner production.

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Charles R. Hall and Dewayne L. Ingram

This research uses a life cycle analysis and economic engineering approach to determine the costs and global warming potential (GWP) of production and post-production practices associated with Taxus ×media ‘Densiformis’, which is often grown using a more capital-intensive regime during the propagative and harvesting stages than the typical field-grown shrub. Total variable costs incurred during the rooted cutting stage were slightly over $0.24 per marketable rooted cutting. This was made up of $0.1966, $0.032, and $0.0127 for labor, materials, and equipment operating costs, respectively. The GWP of materials and equipment used during the rooted cutting stage of production was 0.0097 and 0.2762 kg CO2 equivalent (CO2e), respectively. Equipment costs in this phase were predominantly from heating the greenhouse (92%) and the greenhouse heating functions comprised 95% of the rooting cutting GWP. GWP during the post-farm gate stage was 2.4506 kg CO2e per marketable shrub but was offset by 12.5522 kg CO2 being sequestered in the shrub during its time in the landscape and weighted over the 100-year assessment period, leaving a net GWP of –8.1824 kg CO2e per marketable shrub by the end of the life cycle. Total takedown and disposal costs (labor) after an assumed 50-year life in the landscape were $9.0610. During the entire life cycle from cutting to landscape to takedown and disposal, total variable costs incurred were $17.9856 per shrub. These findings are consistent with previous studies in that the GWP is positive when considering the entire life cycle of the shrub from propagation to eventual removal from the landscape. Knowing the carbon footprint of production and distribution components of field-grown shrubs will help nursery managers understand the environmental costs associated with their respective systems and evaluate potential system modifications to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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John M. Ruter and Dewayne L. Ingram

Plants of `Rotundifolia' holly (Ilex crenata Thunb.) were grown for 3 weeks with root zones at 30,34,38, or 42C for 6 hours daily to evaluate the effects of supraoptimal root-zone temperatures on various photosynthetic processes. After 3 weeks, photosynthesis of plants grown with root zones at 38 or 42C was below that of plants grown at 30 or 34C. Chlorophyll and carotenoid levels decreased while leaf soluble protein levels increased as root-zone temperature increased. Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) activity per unit protein and per unit chlorophyll responded quadratically, while RuBisCO activity per unit fresh weight increased linearly in response to increasing root-zone temperature. Results of this study suggest that `Rotundifolia' holly was capable of altering metabolism or redistributing available assimilates to maintain CO2 assimilation rates in response to increasing root-zone temperatures.

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Dewayne L. Ingram and Charles R. Hall

The objective of this study was to examine the differences in global warming potential (GWP) and variable cost structure of a 5-cm-caliper red maple tree grown using two alternative production methods including a traditional field [balled and burlapped (BNB)] production system and a containerized, pot-in-pot (PIP) production system. Feedback from nursery growers was obtained to model each production system including the labor required for each cultural practice, materials used, and the hourly usage of tractors and other equipment. Findings from the study indicate that the total system GWP and variable cost for the PIP tree system is −671.42 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and $250.76, respectively, meaning that the tree sequesters much more carbon during its life than is emitted during its entire life cycle. The same holds true for the BNB tree; however, in this system, the GWP of the tree −666.15 kg CO2e during its life cycle at a total variable cost of $236.13. Thus, the BNB tree costs slightly less to produce than its PIP counterpart but the life cycle GWP is slightly less positive as well.

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Chris A. Martin and Dewayne L. Ingram

A three-dimensional computer model was developed to simulate numerically the thermal environment of a polyethylene container-root medium system. An energy balance was calculated at the exterior container wall and the root medium top surface. Thermal energy exchanges at the system's boundaries were a function of radiation, convection, evaporation, and conduction energy flaxes. A forward finite difference form of a transient heat. conduction equation was used to calculate rates of temperature changes as a result of thermal energy exchanges at the system's boundaries. The χ2“goodness-to-fit” test was used to validate computer-generated values to actual measured temperature data. Probabilities for the null hypothesis of no association ranged from P = 0.45 (Julian day 271), to P = 0.81 (Julian day 190), with P ≥ 0.70 on nine of 10 validation days in 1989. Relative to net radiation and convection, conduction and evaporation had little effect on thermal energy exchanges at the root medium top surface during sunlight hours. The rate of movement of thermal energy (thermal diffusivity) was slower and generally resulted in lower temperatures in a pine bark medium than in a pine bark medium supplemented with sand when volumetric water content (VMC) ranged from 0.25 to 0.45.