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Raul Leonel Grijalva-Contreras, Francisco Lopez-Vilches, and Victor Salvador-Rivas

The Growers Club provides a good alternative for technology transfer generation in experiment stations, universities, and other research institutions in Mexico. At this time, there are 10 Growers Clubs in northwest Mexico, mainly in Sonora and Sinaloa states. During 1996, in the agricultural area in Caborca, Sonora, the Grower Club “REME”-SOCOADA was formed with 10 members—all of them are willing to adopt new technologies. The main goal of this club is to improve the yield using the validation of new agricultural practices and evaluation of genetic material from different crops (annual crops, vegetables, fruit trees, and forage). We have six demonstration lots in different locations and we are planning to increase these to 11 and we will publish the results that we are going to get from these lots.

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Mike Murray

74 ORAL SESSION 14 (Abstr. 520–527) Cross-commodity/No commodity: Human Issues/Extension/Technology Transfer Tuesday, 25 July, 8:00–10:00 a.m

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Kelvin Sewake and Joseph DeFrank

Anthurium bacterial blight is a disease that has devastated much of the Hawaii anthurium industry in recent years. In response to the crisis, the Cooperative Extension Service produced a video entitled “Strategies for Anthurium Blight Control - A Growers' Discussion.” The video format was selected to allow the extension service to utilize experience of four successful large scale commercial growers and deliver blight control information to other growers with a graphic demonstration on control procedures for disease management. Production of the video eliminated the need for farm tours, eliminated the risk of disease spread, condensed information, and allowed growers to borrow copies. This video proved effective in prompting growers to adopt and implement recommended blight control procedures.

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Mike Murray

37 ORAL SESSION 4 (Abstr. 419-426) Extension: Technology Transfer

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Robert F. Bevacqua

74 ORAL SESSION 14 (Abstr. 520–527) Cross-commodity/No commodity: Human Issues/Extension/Technology Transfer Tuesday, 25 July, 8:00–10:00 a.m

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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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P.R. Fisher and R.D. Heins

A graphical control chart was developed to monitor leaf count of Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) and make temperature recommendations based on predictions of a leaf unfolding rate (LUR) model. The graph allows observed and target leaf count to be compared visually over time. Timing of the visible bud stage, when flower buds are visible externally on the plant, is important to time flowering for the Easter sales period. The optimum LUR and average daily temperature required to achieve a target visible bud date can be read directly from the chart. The approach provides an intuitive method for transferring quantitative models to growers.

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Mike Murray, Mike Cahn, Janet Caprile, Don May, Gene Miyao, Bob Mullen, Jesus Valencia, and Bill Weir

University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisors have conducted applied research to quantify processing tomato [Lycopersicum esculentum (L.) Mill] varietal performance, as a coordinated activity, since 1973. Early and midseason maturity varieties are annually evaluated at four to six locations throughout the state. The test varieties are selected in collaboration with seed companies, processors and growers. The growers and seed companies provide financial support for the tests. Most tests are conducted in production tomato fields and are harvested using commercial harvesters. The results are widely disseminated through an annual report to the funding sources, farm advisor research reports, newsletters, production meetings, the California Tomato Grower magazine, and popular media. The information obtained for fruit yield potential, fruit quality and plant horticultural characteristics is used by processors, growers, and seed companies to make variety selection decisions. This regional extension program has proven to be an effective way to generate well-designed replicated information for making intelligent processing tomato cultivar decisions and has been well accepted by the California industry.

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Mike Willett, T.J. Smith, A.B. Peterson, H. Hinman, R.G. Stevens, T. Ley, P. Tvergyak, K.M. Williams, K.M. Maib, and J.W. Watson

In the mid-1980s, a statewide educational program was initiated to help improve productivity in replanted apple orchards. This effort began with a study of the background of the problem in Washington and an assessment of the problems growers faced when replanting orchards. An array of potential limiting factors were identified-most important, specific apple replant disease (SARD)-but also low soil pH, poor irrigation practices, arsenic (As) spray residues in the soil, soil compaction, nematodes, nutrient deficiencies, and selection of the appropriate orchard system. The educational program was delivered using a variety of methods to reach audience members with different learning styles and to provide various levels of technical information, focusing on ways to correct all limiting factors in replant situations. Results have been: Acceptance of soil fumigation as a management tool: increased recognition of soil physical, chemical, and moisture problems; reduced reliance on seedling rootstock, and an increase in the use of dwarfing, precocious understocks; and better apple tree growth and production in old apple orchard soils.