initial consultation/training period, to maximize the value of precision irrigation technology. This is supported by economic and social science studies that have highlighted the importance of continued technical support from either extension agents or
Most administrators regard strategic planning as a structured process to produce fundamental decisions and actions shaping and guiding what their organization is, does, and why it does it. A concerted focus on the future is usually involved in the effort. In North Carolina, all Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Agents, Specialists, Directors and State Staff recently utilized such a structured process in a 3-day conference entitled “The Summit”. The success of this strategic planning process can be measured by the degree to which the process lead to strategic management within NCCE. The Summit used a framework that fully explored forces affecting or impeding strategic thinking. That framework was a day of laying groundwork and with various keynote speakers helping to set the stage; a day of stakeholder direction and attendee active listening and debate; and a day of group reflection. The results of this conference were chronicled in “White Paper” written by a team representing all major in-house stakeholders. While many of the usual problems affecting Extension were reviewed, stakeholder input to both administration and staff is re-shaping the way NCCE uses resources and directs programs. Ten recommendations came out Action te Such an outcome is strategic management, and the framework of The Summit may allow other similar organizations to also have successful strategic planning meetings.
The Southern Extension and Research Activities/Information Exchange Group-27 (SERA/IEG-27) is sponsored by the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. Thirteen universities and the U.S. National Arboretum 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 southeastern U.S. Plants are distributed to members responding to a request from cooperators for plant evaluation. Those who agree to cooperate are expected to grow the selected liner to landscape size, then transplant it in a landscape setting. The plant is rated for insect, disease, and cold damage, heat stress, growth rate, ornamental flowering and fruiting, fall color, commercial production potential, landscape potential, invasiveness potential, and insect disease transmission potential. Growth rate is evaluated annually by recording plant height and width. Initial bloom date is reported followed by bloom duration in days. Following evaluation, the group collectively and individually disseminates information gained from the plant evaluation system to a wide variety of audiences.
Since the passage of the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990, certified organic produce has begun to make a large impact on national markets. However, USDA statistics indicate that many states in the southern region have considerably reduced certified organic acreage when compared to other regions in the United States. The absence of organic acreage may perhaps originate with a lack of training and educational materials provided to producers due to unanticipated growth of organic markets. A thorough review of all Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (ACES) materials, such as bulletins, publications, and workshops over the past 10 years, would reveal what information has been provided to producers on certified organic production. This review of ACES materials defines the existing groundwork on which ACES could construct future organic publications and outreach programs in order to sustain and stimulate organic farming within the state.
The computer program Greenhouse Cost Accounting, available for DOS-based microcomputers and Macintosh computers, is described. The software enables the user to perform cost accounting and to determine the profitability of greenhouse crops. The information can be used by managers to analyze various production, financial, and marketing strategies. The Greenhouse Cost Accounting program uses cost information typically found on income statements and direct cost information for each crop. From these inputs, the program allocates as many costs as possible to individual crops. The remaining unallocated costs are assigned to each crop on a per square-foot-week basis. The computer output provides information on costs and returns on a per crop, per unit, and per square-foot basis. It also provides an income statement showing total costs, allocated costs, and unallocated costs. The output can aid the manager in making decisions about pricing, reducing unprofitable production, controlling costs, and increasing sales of profitable crops. The program also can be used by greenhouse management classes or for extension workshops.
The effectiveness of cool-white fluorescent, high-pressure sodium, incandescent, and metal halide lamps for inducing flowering through daylength extensions in Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips', Coreopsis grandiflora Hogg ex Sweet `Early Sunrise', and Coreopsis verticillata L. `Moonbeam' was compared. Lighting was delivered as a 7-hour day extension with photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) ranging from 0.05 to 2.0 μmol·m-2·s-1 following a 9-hour natural daylength. Threshold irradiance values for flowering ranged from <0.05 to 0.4 μmol·m-2·s-1, depending on species. Saturation irradiance values for Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips' and C. grandiflora `Early Sunrise' were between 0.2 ± 0.2 and 0.7 ± 0.5 μmol·m-2·s-1, and did not differ between lamps. An irradiance of 1.0 μmol·m-2·s-1 from any lamp was adequate for flowering in Coreopsis verticillata `Moonbeam'. Time to flower at irradiances above the saturation points did not differ significantly between lamp types for all species tested. Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips' and Coreopsis grandiflora `Early Sunrise' plants had significantly longer stems under incandescent lamps than in any other treatment. Coreopsis verticillata `Moonbeam' plants grown under cool-white fluorescent lamps had stems ≈10% longer than those grown under high-pressure sodium or incandescent lamps.