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G. Lightner

44 COLLOQUIUM 2 Issues and Applications of Computer Technology to Horticulture

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R.W. Peifer

44 COLLOQUIUM 2 Issues and Applications of Computer Technology to Horticulture

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GiGi Siekkinen and Philip L. Carpenter

136 ORAL SESSION (Abstr. 651-657) CROSS-COMMODITY COMPUTERS/EXTENSION

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Laurence A. Sistrunk and J. Benton Storey

136 ORAL SESSION (Abstr. 651-657) CROSS-COMMODITY COMPUTERS/EXTENSION

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Caula A. Beyl

Computer-aided design (CAD) is rapidly becoming an indispensable tool for landscape architects and designers. This has created the need for a simple-to-use, inexpensive, and readily available configuration for introducing computer-aided design on a limited budget to landscape students. This introduction to computer-aided landscape design can be accomplished easily and accurately using the 512K Macintosh computer and the software package MacDraw. Techniques are reported for shading, layering, and customizing plant and groundcover symbols, allowing a personal touch that is lacking in some more-advanced CAD packages. Computer-generated pages can be collaged to make full-sized landscape drawings, which are then copied onto reproduction vellum. In this manner, the design capability is not limited by the size of the minter. This design configuration is currently in use and was used to generate the design and the symbol illustrated.

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Arthur Villordon and Jason Franklin

Poster Session 21—Computer Applications in Horticultural Science 19 July 2005, 12:00–12:45 p.m. Poster Hall–Ballroom E/F

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Gerardo Lopez, Romeo R. Favreau, Colin Smith, and Theodore M. DeJong

developed a mechanistic computer model, PEACH. PEACH included important concepts related to carbon assimilation and its distribution in peach trees, and it has been an important reference for subsequent research (over 125 citations by the end of 2009

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R.M. Crassweller, J.W. Travis, P.H. Heinemann, and E.G. Rajotte

Decreasing resources and increasing complexity of horticultural crop production necessitate that new technologies be developed to transfer information to commercial producers. Expert systems (ES) have been cited as potential tools that can facilitate knowledge transfer. The definitions of an expert system, however, technically only indicates a computer program that simulates the thought processes of a human expert and, as such, does not supply all the facets necessary to assist commercial producers. The combination of databases, graphic capabilities, and textual information into a comprehensive program would provide a more complete package. To differentiate the two, we use the term decision support systems (DSS). The development, testing, and release of DSS, however, require greater commitment and interdisciplinary cooperation. Developing DSS fosters interstate, interregional, and international cooperation among researchers and extension personnel. Using systems developed in fruit production as examples, we outline the value of DSS to promote cooperation, the resources necessary to develop these systems; and the attitudinal change necessary to build the systems.

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Ward Simonton

The commercial greenhouse operation, with a controlled and structured environment and a large number of highly repetitive tasks, offers many advantages for automation relative to other segments of agriculture. Benefits and incentives to automate are significant and include improving the safety of the work force and the environment, along with ensuring sufficient productivity to compete in today's global market. The use of equipment and computers to assist production also may be particularly important in areas where labor costs and/or availability are a concern. However, automation for greenhouse systems faces very significant challenges in overcoming nonuniformity, cultural practice, and economic problems. As a case study, a robotic workcell for processing geranium cuttings for propagation has been developed. The robot grasps randomly positioned cuttings from a conveyor, performs leaf removal, trims the stems, and inserts the cuttings into plug trays. While the system has been shown to process effectively many plants automatically, the robot is not equipped to handle successfully the wide variety of cuttings that a trained worker handles with aplomb. A key challenge in greenhouse automation will be to develop productive systems that can perform in a reliable and cost-effective way with highly variable biological products.

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Gary L Wade and William A. Thomas

Cost estimating and job bidding are among the most complex and time-consuming tasks of landscape professionals. A software package was developed to make cost estimating more accurate and efficient. HORT LAND, computer cost estimator for landscape installation, was developed for IBM compatible PC's using SuperCalc 5 spreadsheet software. The user builds a series of data bases, including an items listing of materials and equipment utilized in his operation along with their associated cost. Then, he defines a series of generic tasks, such as planting a 1-gallon size plant, and refers to the previous items list and associated code numbers for the materials and equipment necessary to install the plant. Once these initial data bases are constructed and saved, the user inputs a plant list, including size and price, then instructs the computer to translate the appropriate data from the initial data bases to arrive at a detailed listing of costs. The program then computes direct job cost and bid price, including overhead and profit.