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Systems approaches to research can be used to study characteristics of agricultural systems that cannot be addressed using conventional factorial experiments. The goal of a factorial experiment is to break down a complex system in order to isolate and study specific components and identify cause-effect relationships. In contrast, systems experiments aim to understand how a complex system functions as a whole and thus requires that intact systems be studied. Two approaches have been successfully applied to agricultural systems research: 1) field station experiments where simulated cropping systems are established in replicated plots and 2) studies of intact agroecosystems using commercial farms as study sites. These two approaches have complementary strengths and limitations and have made significant contributions to our understanding of ecological processes in agricultural systems. The development of sustainable agroecosystems will be best accomplished using an integrated research approach combining systems experiments with appropriately designed factorial experiments.

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Controlled environment agriculture, including greenhouses and indoor production facilities, is becoming an increasingly important part of the global food system. Totally enclosed, indoor vegetable growing facilities were developed in Japan beginning

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synthesis, and estimated comparative rate of biodegradation in the soil (adapted from Brodhagen et al., 2015 ). In many agricultural systems, mulch is used for a single growing season, and in some cases, mulch is applied to the same field year after year

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157 Colloquium 3 (Abstr. 714–723) Implementing HortBase: Horticulture Global Information System for Decision Support

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Region 2 has provided support for the installation of the LFG-fueled microturbine and desalinization system, and for demonstration of the aquaponic and algal culture systems at the BCRRC greenhouse site.

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Alternate bearing exerts economic and environmental consequences through unfulfilled yield potential and fertilizer runoff, respectively. We will discuss a systematic biological–statistical modeling management integration approach to address the concert of mechanisms catalyzing alternate bearing. New engineering technologies (precision harvesting, spatially variable fertigation, and mathematical crop modeling) are enabling optimization of alternate bearing systems. Four years of harvest data have been collected, documenting yield per tree of an 80-acre orchard. These results have shown variability within orchard to range from 20–180 lbs per tree per year. Results indicate irregular patterns not directly correlated to previous yield, soil, or tissue nutrient levels, or pollen abundance. Nor does significant autocorrelation of high or low yields occur throughout the orchard, suggesting that genetically dissimilar rootstocks may have significant impact. The general division of high- and low-yielding halves of the orchard may infer a biotic incongruency in microclimates. This orchard does not display a traditional 1 year-on, 1 year-off cyclic pattern. Delineation of causal mechanisms and the ability to manage effectively for current demands will empower growers to evaluate their fertilization, irrigation, male: female ratio, site selection, and economic planning. In comparison to annual crops, the application of precision agriculture to tree crops is more complex and profitable. When applied in conjunction, the aforementioned methods will have the ability to forecast yields, isolate mechanisms of alternate bearing, selectively manage resources, locate superior individuals, and establish new paradigms for experimental designs in perennial tree crops.

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The authors gratefully thank the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program for funding the initiation of this experiment, and the USDA National Research

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Continuous monitoring of hydraulic/hydrologic data for managing water for horticultural crops has been a challenge due to factors such as data loss, intensive resource requirements, and complicated setup and operation. The use of state-of-the-art wireless spread spectrum communication technology and wireless data acquisition and control (WDAC) systems for agricultural water management is discussed in this paper. The WDAC technology was applied to a research project where lysimeters were used for water quantity and quality studies for vegetables. Two types of WDAC networks, master–slave and peer-to-peer WDAC networks, are discussed. The WDAC system linked the wireless dataloggers to a network to make real-time data available over the Internet. The use of WDAC made it possible to collect real-time data and control the experiment (e.g., frequency of data collection) remotely through the Internet. The WDAC system for the lysimeter study was compared to a commonly used manual system with regard to potential instrument damage, data loss, ease of data collection and analyses, and total cost of monitoring. The advantages of the WDAC include: reduced equipment losses from natural disasters (e.g., lightning), improved equipment maintenance, reduced data loss from faulty equipment, higher project personnel efficiency, and real-time involvement by a dispersed team. The total cost of the WDAC system ($65,750) was about half that of the manual system ($130,380). The WDAC system was found to be an effective tool for agricultural water management projects.

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This paper describes a moderately high-density orchard training system (1000 trees/ha) developed at the Univ. of California's Kearney Agricultural Center for peach and nectarine trees grown on standard rootstocks. This two-leader system was developed to increase production during the early years of the orchard while minimizing specialized management operations during orchard maturity. Early selection of two primary scaffolds oriented perpendicular to the tree row is recommended during the first season of growth. During subsequent years, summer and dormant pruning requirements are similar to the standard open-vase system grown in California. Because of the uniform and relatively simple tree structure, individual scaffolds, rather than whole trees, can be used as functional units for crop load management.

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more common types of urban agriculture include community gardens, backyard gardens, and rooftop gardens, which are also referred to as green roofs ( Mok et al. 2014 ). Although hydroponic and other indoor systems are available, outdoor soil or soil

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