2014 Young Scholar Enhancement Grant Projects

With attached research posters

LS11-241: Enhancing Natural Enemy Systems: Biocontrol Implementation for Peachtree Borers; Rashaad Culver, a senior at Fort Valley State University majoring in Biology. The goal was to develop a non-toxic formulation to protect beneficial insect-killing nematodes from ultraviolet radiation and/or desiccation to enhance efficacy in suppression of the lesser peachtree borer and other insects that attack crops above ground. In the project, Culver studied concentration rates of Barricade® gel, and found that the formulation used at a rate of two percent effectively protects entomopathogenic nematodes from harmful environmental conditions.

LS12-248: Quantifying the Multiplier Effect: What Sustainable Local Food Systems Can Mean to Local Communities; Mary Sims, undergraduate student at North Carolina State University. While studies show that organic production permits higher crop yield per acre, many farmers fear that the transition from conventional to organic would not be worth it due to the possibility for monetary loss during the three years between cutting out chemicals and having their crops certified to be sold for higher organic prices. The goal of this study was to determine an effective treatment method for transitioning from conventional to organic farmland. The findings explained thus far imply that different treatment variables have different affects on the additive crop yield before and after that the fields become certified organic. Much more statistical analyses have been conducted past the data discussed here, but their interpretations need further confirmation.

LS12-249: Improving Soil Quality to Increase Yield and Reduce Diseases in Organic Rice Production; William Tarpley, Texas A&M University petroleum engineering major. Tarpley conducted research in organic rice fields that involved water sampling to measure the amount of dissolved organic compounds, as well as the pH of the sample water. In addition, he took gas samples to measure the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted by rice plants. By participating in the project, Tarpley gained knowledge about plant sampling and analyses and how the processes are relevant to the oil and gas industry.

LS12-250: Extending the Market Season with High Tunnel Technology for Organic Fruit Production; Olivia Caillouet, a junior majoring in horticulture at the University of Arkansas. The project aimed to develop environmentally and economically sustainable organic berry production systems combining high tunnel and field production to provide season extension and expanded production.