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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MEASUREMENT AND MODELING OF SEASONAL PLANT WATER AND NUTRIENT USE TO DETERMINE OPTIMAL RATES FOR NURSERY PRODUCTION -WILLOWAY NURSERY
2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Measure water and nutrient consumption over the course of two growing seasons; develop and refine mechanistic-based models that estimate and project optimum water and nutrient application rates across the growing season; apply, validate, and demonstrate the model performance in a closed loop system. Continue cooperation on smart sprayer testing including reduced pesticide rate/efficacy studies.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Willoway will maintain the existing plot when it has been appropriately renovated. Willoway Nursery will ensure the system functions to automatically and continuously monitor and record the water quantity applied and leachate. Colorado State University cooperators will coordinate data collection, data analysis, and data presentation. Colorado State University cooperator's specific responsibilities will be outlined in a separate NFCA. ATRU engineers will also conduct basic spray application studies to reduce pesticide usage.


3.Progress Report:

Water and nutrient consumption were measured over the course of the first growing season. Growth models were developed on the USDA, ARS research plot that estimates and projects optimum water and liquid nutrient rates through the growing season. The experimental performance is in a closed loop system. Willoway Nursery staff maintained the plot, continuously monitored and recorded the water quantity applied to test plants, and performed leachate collection. Colorado State University cooperators coordinated data collection and data analysis. Application Technology Research Unit (ATRU) engineers assisted in the electronic maintenance of the plot. The second year study is now in progress. Cooperation on smart sprayer testing and reduced pesticide use included efficacy studies by ATRU engineers.


Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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