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USDA Scientist in Georgia Receives Technology Transfer Award / February 12, 2003 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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Magazine feature about Davidson's research (Oct. 1997)


USDA Scientist in Georgia Receives Technology Transfer Award

By Sharon Durham
February 12, 2003

BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb. 12—Mechanical engineer James Davidson of Dawson, Ga., will receive an award from the Agricultural Research Service for “Superior Efforts in Technology Transfer” in a ceremony today at the agency’s headquarters here. Davidson works at the National Peanut Research Laboratory operated at Dawson by ARS, the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Davidson is being recognized for innovative research and transfer of systems engineering technology for everyday peanut production and marketing decisions for U.S. peanut growers.

Davidson developed an expert system to allow peanut growers to use volumes of research data and grower experience to make daily decisions about peanut production, harvesting and marketing. The expert system, now sold commercially as Irrigator Pro, consists of more than 700 equations and 1,000 rules for scheduling irrigation and managing pests in irrigated peanut production.

Davidson conceived and developed user guides, technical manuals and training videos to accompany the commercial release of Irrigator Pro. He has also conducted more than 100 training sessions in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma on the use and implementation of the initial release of Irrigator Pro in 2000.

More than 200 growers, crop consultants, and extension agents are using Irrigator Pro to manage more than 30,000 acres of irrigated peanuts in Georgia alone. With the cost of using Irrigator Pro at less than $5 dollars per acre, growers minimize the risk of preharvest aflatoxin contamination, reduce water and pesticide use by 10 to 20 percent, increase peanut grade by 2 to 5 percent, and increase economic returns by approximately $100 per acre.

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Last Modified: 2/11/2003
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