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PAYMENTS UNDER THE HATCH ACT
The Hatch program of research at the State agricultural experiment stations is aimed at improving rural living conditions, conserving resources, and promoting efficient production, marketing, distribution, and ultilization of crops and lives tock essential to the food supply or health and welfare of the people of the United States.
The following is a description of current activities and selected examples of accomplishments from these appropriated funds:
Current activities: 11 percent of total Hatch funds for research. Included are soil and Tand use, water and watersheds, outdoor recreation, environmental quality, fish and wildlife, and remote sensing.
Selected examples of recent progress:
Water Storage and Runoff. A model for calculating surface storage of water and runoff amounts was developed by engineers at the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station for a plot using grid elevations. The model, which operates independently of rainfall and infiltration rates, was applied to field observations on sixteen plots, before and after rainfall application. The results showed that limited runoff occurs concurrently with buildup of micro-relief storage. Percentage of area contributing runoff increases by steps. Microrelief storage was increased three to four times by plowing, but was substantially reduced by subsequent rainfall.
Simplified Drip Irrigation Design. University of Hawaii agricultural engineers lave developed a manual for simpTified design of drip irrigation systems. The manual enables the designer to select the degree of variation in distribution of water in the field which he can accept. Then the lateral and subma in can be rapidly designed for various topographic conditions, field size, types of lateral line and rates of application. In addition, main line design for either simple or complicated distribution systems can be easily handled using the straight energy gradient concept developed at the University of Hawaii. The inanual includes charts for design with explanations and exainples of their use. For cases of uniform slopes, a pocket-size design calculator consisting of three charts with explanation has also been developed. This calculator is all the designers need in the field for drip irrigation design.
Programmed Irrigation. Test results at the University of Nebraska showed that up to 30 percent of the water normally used in irrigation can be saved without crop loss with programmed irrigation and rates determined by instrumented measurements of rainfall and soil moisture conditions.
These results, and the programming information necessary to achieve them, have been widely disseminated throughout the state.
In 1979, a survey by the Nebraska Energy Office found that 1.8 million acres ( 25 percent) of the state's irrigated land) were programmed, saving $26.9 million in direct energy costs and $12 million in reduced percolation of nitrogen fertilizer into the aquifer for that year.
Current activities: 2 percent of total Hatch funds for research. Forestry related research under Hatch is closely coordinated with the McIntire-Stennis
Research program which has similar research objectives. The Hatch forestry research program is characterized by a higher degree of multi-institutional or regional projects.
Snacted paroles of rent progress:
Air ryson Toroniques to Control Siirface Checking in refractory Hardwoods. Scientists ai North Carojina State University have developed and tested a method for drying oeks and Ciher hard-to-dry lumber with greatly reduced surface checking and other degrading. Use of plywood sheets to slow the movement of moisture from the lumber surface could reduce the dollar loss for all hardwoods by one hundred million dollars annually.
Fertilization Nutrition of Southern Pine. Florida researchers have produced results showing how minimal preparation of forest sites for replanting can cut investments in fertilizers to replace harvested nutrients and reduce fuel use in site preparation. More complete harvesting of wood material and leaving a blankei of slash and forest floor material to protect mineral soil with slow release of nutrients resulted in 30 percent taller slash pines after 3 years.
Coniferous Tree Improvement in Minnesota. Minnesota is moving out of a period of forest surpluses. This is a threat to the State's forest products industry which contributes one billion dollars annually to the State's economy. Through research, genetically superior. more productive nursery stock f tion can be developed. Before superior trees can be planted or harvested, superior parental material must be identified, collected or developed and grown to sexual maturity in seed orchards.
Research has demonstrated liat a five percent increment in growth rate is to be expected in the first improved generation with red pine, Minnesota's most widely planted species. Potential gains in other softwoods are even more impressive--10 to 11 percent with jack pine and 20 percent with white spruce. hidditional increases in production are anticipated in the second and subsequent generations.
The acreage that will be reforested yearly in Minnesota is expected to increase from 18,500 acres to 55,000 acres by the year 2000. Most of this will be planted io red pine, jack jine, white spruce and black spruce. The State's forests could double their production with genetic improvement, tailoring the strain to the si!:, fitilization, better site preparation, and better control of competing vegetation.
Current activities: 40 percent of total Hatch funds for research. Included unter ihis resuarch prograr grouping are crop protection and production systems for dependable and efficient production, quality improvement, quality mainteriance, nu? luct developnent, and related commodity aspects of marketing of crops.
Selected exacples of recent progress:
Wild Werennial Corn, in Exciting Gene Resource. A team of Ohio scientists is e Toring thin po.eritior use of a wild relative of corn as a source of maize virus pristance for modern corn hybrids. Zea diploperennis, a previously unknown perennial "teosinte," was discovered in 1978 in the Sierra de Man ,tlan Mountains in valisco, Mexico. Preliminary studies by the Ohio scientists reveale: that Zea diploperennis is resistant to major corn viruses, including maize criorotic warf virus, maize chlorotic mottle virus, and maize streak virus. I also is tolerant no maize dwarf mosaic virus (strain B), miz. rayag. , 'no virus, and maize stripe virus. All of these virus diseases Causa icsses of varying seriousness in different maize (corn) production areas cf the worint, First crosses of Zea diploperennis are now being grown to see winther resistance can be transferred and recovered. Potential resistance er the wild corn to such damaging insects as Furopean cornborer, corn rootworm,
and cutworm is being examined. Genes for higher yields, improved nutritive quality, or greater root and stalk strength may be derived from Zea diploperennis. Because the wild corn is a perennial, scientists are looking at the remote possibility of developing a perennial corn hybrid sometime in the future. In its native habitat in Mexico, Zea diploperennis has very prolific : vegetative growth. Thus, it has also created interest in its potential for production of biomass for fuel alcohol. It is estimated that it may take as long as 20 years of concentrated efforts to realize the full potential of Zea diploperennis, considered by many botanists as the missing link in the evo TUtion of corn.
High Quality, Semi dwarf Durum Wheat Varieties, a First, North Dakota State University (NDSUT in cooperation with SEAJAR has deveToped and released several new durum wheat varieties in recent years. Cando and Calvin are the first high quality, semidwarf durums produced in North America. The grain yield levels of those semidwarf durums have been equal to the highest yielding hard red spring wheats. These varieties will not shatter or lodge under the highest fertility and moisture conditions.
Edmore and Vic are the first NDSU durum varieties with high gluten strength. They will improve the export demand for U.S. durum since some countries prefer a durum which will produce a higher cooked. pasta firmness. Edmore and Vic also are superior to all other durum varieties grown for kernel size, spaghetti color and resistance to the root-crown rot disease.
For each dollar invested in durum wheat breeding research at NDSU, approxi. mately $130 dividend is returned to North Dakota producers and for the State's economic benefit. The yield advantage of first Ward (1972) and later Botno. Rugby, Crosby (1973) and Cando (1975) over earlier varieties such as Leeds have netted nearly $120 million additional income to North Dakota producers since their release. The first semi dwarf varieties Cando and Calvin will bring additional financial benefits to North Dakota over even the more recent high yielding varieties while maintaining high levels of quality and disease resistance.
Sunflower Oil for Diesel Engines, Tests using sunflower oil as a fuel for diesel engines at North Dakota State University indicate that this energy alternative has a good potential for success. In the 1979 crop year, 3 1/2 million acres of sunflower were produced in the state. The hybrid varieties of sunflower that are grown have an oil content of about 40 percent. The energy in No. 2 diesel fuel is about 140,000 btu's per gallon, while the energy in sunflower oil is about 128,000 btu's per gallon.
Sunflower is yielding up to about 2,000 lb per acre in North Dakota. The average yield is about 1,400 lb per acre. At 1,400 lbs per acre, an oil yield of 73 gallons per acre is available. If three-fourths of the oil can be extracted on the farm, the yield would be about 55 gallons per acre. Fuel requirements for crop production are about 5-7 gallons per acre. The fuel fron one acre of sunflower then could produce another 8-11 acres of crop. Emphasis in the research is being placed on the processing of the oil on farms or in comunity processing plants. This would provide a source of fuel that would be independent of the national transportation system. A small auger press being tested will extract 75 to 80 percent of the oil from the seed. A major part of the sediment can be removed from the oil by settling. Final filtration of the oil has yielded a product that will burn in a diesel engine. Short term tests with engines show that the sunflower oil can be blended with diesel fuel satisfactorily. One hundred percent sunflower oil is being used regularly as a fuel in the testing program.
Improving Potatoes by Cloning. Cloning techniques have been developed for regenerating single Teaf cells of commercial potato varieties into complete
plants. The resultant plants, called protoclones, have been evaluated for superior horticultural, agronomic and disease resistance characters by a combination of laboratory and field tests. This is a cooperative project between the agricultural experiment stations of Kansas and North Dakota. Results of these studies have shown that all clones are not identical as expected but that a wide range of variability exists. Variation in vine morphology, tuber yield and composition, maturity, flowering and disease resistance have been observed. The results suggest that, for potatoes, cloning techniques offer a new means for generating variability for crop improvement. Increased yields and local adaptability are potential examples. Because the major problem in potato production is the control of several major diseases, identification and development of disease resistance in commercial varieties would not only reduce the necessity for chemical control, but reduce losses due to diseases, which are approximately 22% annually.
Selective Herbicide Applicators Developed. Research on selective applicators for applying herbicides to tatt growing weed escapes in low growing crops were initiated in Nebraska in 1974 and introduced to Nebraska farmers in 1979 by weed scientists. These applicators are now being used on 1/3 of the soybean acreage in Nebraska. The applicators provide economical control of these weed escapes by applying the herbicide only to the weed. This results in a savings of 80 to 90% of the herbicide and provides a more economical, effective treatment than hand removal of weeds. Because of the use of selective applicators, several problem weeds such as shattercane and volunteer corn, which previously required expensive controls or dictated less profitable cropping sequences, can now be controlled effectively and economically in growing soybeans. This new weed control method is being researched for future use in sorghum, sugarbeets, field beans and other low growing crops.
Reducing Insect Pests on Soybeans. Entomologists at the Delaware Agricultural Experiment Station conducted tests with "trap" crops to draw insect pests away from primary crops. They have been highly successful in using snap beans as the "trap" crop for the Mexican bean beetle in Delaware soybean fields. The bean beetle apparently prefers snap beans to soybeans and concentrates its feeding as well as egg-laying on the snap beans when this plant is raised adjacent to soybeans. The amount of "trap" crop to achieve control is only about 1 percent of the primary crop, when it is planted in pure strips in rows either adjacent to or within the soybean field. In a commercial demonstration of the effectiveness of the snap bean being used as a "trap" crop, only 2 percent of the "trap" crop fields had to be sprayed for Mexican bean beetle, while 28 percent of the "untrapped" commercial fields were sprayed.
Unusually Sweet Sweetcorn Discovered at Illinois. Sweetness, tenderness, good texture Thigh water-soluable poly-saccrides-WSPT and low starch content are four earmarks of a high quality sweet corn. The two mutants most frequently used commercially for hybrid breeding are sugary (su) and shrunken-2 (sh2). The sh2 mutant is high in sugar content but low in WSP, resulting in a watery texture unsuitable for canning. The su mutant possesses appreciable amounts of W... but lacks the high sugar levels of sh2 that many consumers desire in fresh market sweet corn. Recently scientists at the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station discovered an inbred line of sweet corn, IL677a, that has a sugar content comparable to that of sh2 and a WSP content equal to the su genotype. The kernels of IL677a also appear to be much slower to dry in the field and have a distinctively lighter colored kernel. The gene responsible is from the su mutant and it has been tentatively named sugary enhancer, se. This modifier gene should be extremely useful in developing new sweet corn hybrids for fresh market and processing.
Sanding Rangeland. An experimental rangeland seeder developed by Texas Agricui tura Experiment Station scientists offers a method of seeding rangeland where sparse to moderate brush debris is present following root plowing and
low cost smoothing for seedbed preparation. Moreover, the minimal land clearing required by this seeder increases the potential for improving brush infested rangeland by root plowing and reseeding with improved grasses.
Practical Planned Grazing Systems. Agronomists at the University of Nebraska have developed practical planned grazing systems for 4 million of the approximately 24 million acres of rangeland in Nebraska. The increased livestock production from these 4 million acres is valued at nearly $12 million annually. In addition to increased returns, these planned grazing systems have improved the overall condition of the rangeland resource. The same researchers also have developed cultural and management practices for the integrated use of complementary forage crops (irrigated pasture, alfalfa, corn stalks, etc.) with rangeland. These alternatives, within the forage/livestock system, have given increased flexibility to the livestock producer in managing rangelar.os.
Identification of the Cause of Grass Tetany Disease in Cattle. At Louisiana State University Agricultural Experiment Station, agronomists have discovered that the often fatal disease of cattle known as grass tetany, or hypomagnesemia, is related to high levels of aluminum in forages. They have found that while many grasses and forages typically have from 10 to 50 parts per million (ppm) of aluminum in them, when various fertilizers are applied the level of aluminum of some forage and grass species may be raised to 2,000 to 4,000 ppm. Laboratory tests have shown that aluminum reduces the amount of magnesium and calcium in artificial cow's rumen. Since grass tetany is typified by low levels of magnesium and calcium in the blood, these findings should lead to new methods of combating this ailment.
An IMAL RESOURCES
Current activities: 28 percent of total Hatch funds for research. Included under this research program grouping are protection, production and management aspects of beef and dairy cattle, swine, sheep, other animals, poultry, and aquaculture. It also includes quality improvement, product development, and related commodity aspects of marketing.
Selected examples of recent progress:
Riboflavin Deficiency and Reproductive Failure in Swine. A deficiency of the B-vitamin riboflavin in adult, female swine results in total disruption of the normal estrus cycle. This appears to result from an impairment of sex steriod metabolism in the deficient animals. These University of Illinois findings may have relevance to reproductive probler, in other meat producinq animals and in humans. To extend this new information to swine in a production environment, plans are underway to determine if estrus failure, often reported in swine under confinement, is related to the riboflavir status of the female. The vitamin will be measured by a new blood assay recently validated for swine by the Illinois scientists.
Improving Dairy Cattle Reproduction. Scientists at the University of Missouri have shown the effectiveness of growth hormone releasing factor (GnRH) in maintaining proper function of the ovaries in dairy cattle thus preventing the formation of cystic ovaries. This has served as a tasis for Food and Drug Administration approval of the use of this compound by dairy cattle producers. This approval will have widespread economic impact upon the diaro cattle industry allowing greater breeding cfficiency, thus increasing milk production.
Extra Genes Control Immunity in Chickens. Cornell University scientists have identified and bred chickens which have extra genes that control the important immune response mechanism. While ordinary chickens have two genes at each location on a pair of chromosomes, these chickens have three or more genes which are stable in the reproduction process. This permits selection for chickens that have outstanding ability to resist diseases. Studies are planned to