Current Projects

Updates and progress reports about ongoing CIT research project.

Animal Foriage Dairy
Selenium (Se), Boron (B) and salinity contamination of agricultural drainage water or shallow ground water is potentially hazardous to irrigated agriculture production in the Westside of central California. Trace elements, such as Se, are of particular concern because they were reported to cause toxicity in many biological ecosystems at Kesterson Reservoir, Ca. Subsequently, soluble Se released form irrigated agriculture soils into drainage water, shallow water tables, or even surface runoff have been strictly monitored for irrigated agriculture in the Westside of central California.  Since 1987 the Water Management Research Laboratory (WMRL) has studied using salt tolerant selenium-accumulating plants as recipients for disposing of Se-laden drainage water. The WMRL demonstrated that plants irrigated with SE-rich effluent can reduce the volume of the drainage water to dispose, as they importantly extract and accumulate Se from the applied drainage water. During the last three years, the WMRL has seriously considered the product utilization potential of such crops by initiating a process for the extraction of oil from canola seeds. The extracted oil has the potential to be used an alternative source of fuel known as biofuel when blended with diesel, while the seed by-products can be used as Se-enriched feed meal. If growing canola as a biological recipient for Se-laden effluent is to be widely practiced and accepted in the Westside of central California, it is imperative that growers be able to produce economically viable products from this green technology. The proposed study uses canola and sunflower in crop rotation as recipients for disposing of Se-laden drainage water, and evaluates the impacts and the potential of producing Se-enriched mean for supplying dairy cows their essential requirement of Se and other nutrients.
Principal Investigator: Gary Bunuelos
Email address: gbunuelos@fresno.ars.usda.org
Closing Date:

APEP III

ARI-Crop Coefficients
Significant changes in crop production in the central Valley are expected to occur over the next few years. Due to economic and environmental pressures, acreage of high cash value crops such as vegetables, trees and vines will increase while acreage of field crop will decline. With these changes, it is important to develop and adopt water management practices that limit on-farm losses of water and fertilizer resources. Currently, many growers tend to over irrigate vegetable crop because these crops are relatively sensitive to water stress (which reduces yields) and good information on the water requirements of many of these crops is lacking. A project is planned to provide the necessary data to increase irrigation efficiency, limit crop water use, and maximize yield of vegetable crops grown on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. The objectives of this project are to; 1) determine water requirements, 2) develop seasonal crop coefficients for these crops, and 3) evaluate irrigation systems used in the production of these crops. Irrigation management strategies that optimize timing and placement of water and nutrients, increase crop productivity, and limit irrigation drainage will be identified for a variety of crops including lettuce, garlic, onion, and pepper. This project is a continuation for the project titled Developing new Crop Coefficients and Water Side of the San Joaquin Valley , that was funded by ARI from 2000 2004. Results of the project will provide important information to California farmers for selecting irrigation systems and management strategies that increase profitability of vegetable crops grown in the region.
Principal Investigator:  Jim Ayars
Email address:
Closing Date: 6/30/08

ARI-Peach Phase II
Peaches and nectarines are economically vital to the California agriculture industry, which produced 1.2 million tons of fruit last year valued at $358 million. Peach trees require a considerable amount of water to produce these high yields. It is roughly estimated that California peach growers use nearly 95 billion gallons of water (equal to water use of 1.2 million people) irrigation each year. Because of this high demand for water, even a small reduction in peach water requirements could produce considerable savings to the states water budget. In 2000, we used CSU ARI (FY99-01) and USDA ARS funding to establish a long term study site in Parlier, CA and evaluate irrigation management systems and practices for increasing growth, productivity and water use efficiency in peach. Results from the first three years of our study indicate that young trees irrigated by non-traditional surface and subsurface drip systems had significantly greater growth and early production for a given amount of applied water than trees irrigated using more traditional systems such as furrow and micro sprinklers. The main objective of the proposed project is to continue our ARI/USDA funded project on irrigation management practices in mature peach trees that have reached their full bearing potential. In order to meet our objective, we will measure water use , yield and fruit quality for three years on trees irrigated at various levels and frequencies with different irrigation systems, including furrow, micro sprinkler, surface drip, and subsurface drip. Results of this research will provide information directly useable by growers on the best methods of irrigating peach trees and maximizing production, and may lead to the use of irrigation systems capable of producing significant water savings. For example, if surface or subsurface drip irrigation reduce crop water requirements of mature trees by 10% over conventional methods, and only 10% of the peach and nectarine gallons of water could be conserved each year.
Principal Investigator:  Jim Ayars
Email address:
Closing Date: 6/30/06

Biofilter
Excess nutrients form irrigation of crops with recycled wastewaters from food processing and dairy operations can be a major source of groundwater pollution. This project proposes to implement a practical and cost-effective management practice of utilizing a perennial, highly nutritious, Pennisetum Sp. Forage grass, commonly known as Elephant grass, to control ground and surface water contamination. The Elephant grass, denominated Promor A, is a luxury feeder of nitrogen and phosphorus and has the potential to absorb significant amounts of excess nutrients form dairy effluent and processing wastewater used for irrigation. Preliminary tests at California Sate University Fresno have indicated that the grass can absorb up to 2000 pounds per acre of nitrates in a 60 day cutting cycle. This species can absorb up to 1500 pounds per acre of phosphorous during the growing season. The stooling growth habit of this grass will provide a secondary benefit through reduction of water velocity and consequent sedimentation of water borne particles within the barrier planting. The objective of the proposed research is to evaluate the ability of the elephant grass to act as a bio-filter, also referred to as a savaging crop, to alleviate the potential for nitrate and phosphorous pollution of water supplies on fields irrigated with industrial process wastewater and dairy effluent. The Elephant grass will be planted on acreages which as flood irrigated with different sources of wastewater. Water consumption by the grass will be calculated and water movement throughout the rooting profile will be monitored. Water and nutrient budgets will account for all flows entering the barrier plantings and for their final deposition. Soil water quality will be monitored at depths of 2 and 4 feet to assess solute movement through the soil profile and determine the role of the Elephant grass in reducing water contamination below the root zone. The information derived from this research is very important for the agriculture processing industry, dairy industry and wastewater treatment facilities as increasingly more strict discharge regulations are being implemented by regulatory agencies
Principal Investigator: Dave Goorahoo
Email address: dgoorahoo@csufresno.edu
Closing Date: 6/30/07

Blueberry CO2
The overall purpose of this experiment is to evaluate whether atmospheric CO2 enrichment is economically feasible in blueberries in Dealno, which are raised under a mix of open filed and plastic tunnel. Due to the lack of basic information regarding CO2 enrichment in blueberries and to avoid unnecessary costs and efforts, the experiment is broken into two parts: Collect and analyze basic data and information for CO2 enrichment in blueberries and Conduct season-long CO2 experiment and analyze fruit yield and quality
Principal Investigator: Shawn Ashkan
Email address:
Closing Date:  2/28/08

Brawley Nutrient Control
Soil water quality in the vadose zone will be monitored using suction lysimeters. Theselysimeters will be installed at 2 and 4 ft levels by CIT research scientist and file technicians to assess solute movement through the soil profile and determine the role of Elephant grass in reducing water contamintation below the root zone. Placement of the lysimeters will be planned to ensure that samples collected for laboratory analysis will be representative of field conditions.
Principal Investigator: Dave Goorahoo
Email address: dgoorahoo@csufresno.edu
Closing Date: 12/31/05

Canal Seepage
Seepage from irrigation canals is a serious water management problem in California's San Joaquin Valley (SJV).  Seepage reduces irrigation efficiency and contributes to elevated water losses in the region.  Additionally, its water may contain toxic substances harmful to soils and groundwater's.  Thus, it is important to identify tools that can help detect potential leakages along canals.  The goal of the research is to investigate the applied use of electromagnetic inductance (EM) measurements to detect potential seepage and improve water management along irrigation canals.  While the electromagnetic induction technique (EM) has been commonly utilized for salinity assessment, its use for seepage investigations is just developing.  However, the technique is promising since EM measurements are also dependent on soil moisture.  The project s conducted in collaboration with SJV irrigation districts.
Principal Investigator: Florence Cassel
Email address: fcasselss@csufresno.edu
Closing Date: 12/31/2007

Chemigation Education
Chemigation is defined as the application of agricultural chemicals (fertilizer, pesticides, or other material) to soils and plants by injection in the irrigation water. Chemigation can be an affective and environmentally safe method of chemical application if proper safety devices and management practices are followed. The ability to apply chemicals from a stationary source has multiple advantages, such as flexibility in application timing, reduced soil compaction and plant damage from vehicle traffic, a reduction in fuel and labor costs, and reduced operation hazards. Improved air quality may also be an outcome of proper chemigation practices. Chemigation also allows greater control over the deposition of pesticides and pesticide residue, reducing the risk of movement and contamination, increasing efficiency of pesticide applications and making it possible to apply smaller amounts of pesticides more frequently. The limitations include problems with application uniformity, soil texture, soil moisture, and timing of application. The risks of chemigation are related to water (surface and ground) contaminations and human and wildlife exposure. One of the greatest risks related to water is chemical backflow into the well or source water, resulting in the contamination of ground water, ponds, canals, streams, etc. Beginning in 2001, the DPR and CIT have conducted chemigation equipment work shops al over California reaching thousands of participants. The main focus of these workshops has been chemigation equipment and water source protection particularly groundwater, however, this new proposal will expand the effort to educate work shop participants on proper management, application rates and methods, potential hazards during and after the applications of chemical, and how to avoid and deal safely with these hazards.
Principal Investigator:
Email address:
Closing Date: 6/30/2007

C ompound Emmisson Dairies
The overall objectives are to enhance the understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological drivers and processes that lead to the formation of VOCs from dairies, and to identify significant rate-limiting drivers/processes to develop VOC mitigation from dairy feed and waste.
Principal Investigator:
Email address:
Closing Date: 6/30/2007

Dairy Air Mitigation
To be a continuation of the existing, matching projects: the monitoring of cultural practices related to dairy production as they affect the major components of a natural resource, air quality in the Central Valley and California.  Air quality concerns are currently a primary limitation on the dairy industry in the state of the matching projects are funded by state and federal agencies and the industry to assist in developing science-based regulation of the problem.  The addition implication of the proposed project broadens the focus to include issues related to agricultural business, food, safety, and the public policy.
Principal Investigator: Charles Krauter
Email address: charles@csufrenso.edu
Closing Date: 12/31/2006

Developing Manure
Develop DNDC into Manure-DNDC, simulating the life cycle of manure for a dairy operation (production, processing and storage, land application). Manure-DNDC willsimulate and track the fate of manure from the animal excretion stage through the land application phase and quantify releases of nitrogen and carbon to air and water.  Collect field data on ammonia, VOC and methane emissions at several dairies in the Central Valley of California.  Validate Manure-DNDC estimates of ammonia and methane emissions from each component of the dairy operation using field data collected by this project, as well as data from UC Davis mass balance studies conducted by Dr. Frank Mitloehner.  Construct a spatial database for Manure-DNDC applications. This will include default datasets for the San Joaquin Valley region (soil properties, weather data, standard management options) for the farm-scale desktop tool, and soils, animal, crop, management, and weather data at the county-scale for all of California for regional assessments.  Perform county- and airdistrict-level assessments with Manure-DNDC. This task willinclude assembling necessary spatial datasets, and performing uncertainty and sensitivity analyses. The NRC (2003) report states that 'to ensure that reasonable and appropriate estimates of emissions are obtained from AFOs, the measured and derived emission values must have accompanying measures of uncertainty, including accuracy and precision.' We will conduct a thorough uncertainty assessment using Monte Carlo and Most Sensitive Factor approaches for Manure-DNDC. Uncertainties generated from the modeled processes as well as from the input data sets will be distinguished through the sensitivity analysis, and will be incorporated into the modeled results at farm or regional scale.
Principle Investigator:  Charles Krauter
Closing date:
1/14/2007
E-mail address: charles_krauter@csufresno.edu

Diesel Power Engine
In this proposed study, a consortium compromised of the USDA-ARS, CSU Fresno (CSUF), Red Rock Ranch, and Panoche Drainage District will perform a hands- on study, that will investigate developing new resources form an otherwise known contaminant-selenium (SE). Recent research by the USDA indicates that a major oil producing crop-canola-can be grown and used for the bioremediation of Se, a contaminant predominantly found in agricultural soils and waters in the Westside of Central California. The USDA-ARS, Red Rock Ranch, and Panoche Drainage District will irrigate oil-yielding crops-canola, sunflower and potential industrial mustard (on a smaller scale) with Se-laden drainage water on field sites located in the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley. Soils, plants, and waters will be analyzed for Se content. Seed harvested from plants will be processed for their bio-oil by an upgraded "horizontal oil press and extruder" recently installed under a permanent housing structure at Red Rock Ranch. CSUF will blend canola and otheroils-0%, 5%, 10%, 20% and 30% (by weight) with diesel fuel in a four cylinder Cummings diesel engine (or reasonable engine representative of the agricultural industry) mounted on a SuperFlow dynamometer at their engine testing laboratory. Investigators will evaluate performance form the use of bio-fuels (e.g., power output, starting, fuel consumption, etc.) and the degree of coking in injectors and cylinders. In addition, CSUF also will measure and quantify the presence of ten major pollutants (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, speciated gas-phase driven exhaust emitted form Cummings Diesel engines. These data will be incorporated into a computer model to study the effects of these emissions on ozone levels. Lastly, the USDA-ARS will palletize the seed by-products into Se-enriched forage metal after extracting the oil from the canola seed, and provide (or market) this products to local dairy producers; Se is an essential element for animal nutrition. Producing canola, sunflower, and mustard oils for use in bio-fuels and for cp-powering agricultural diesel engines may not only improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley, but these plants may offer growers an economic incentive to utilize agricultural drainage water as a resource and to reduce the volume of drainage water requiring treatment or discharge into the San Joaquin River. the westside of the San Joaquin Valley. Soils, plants, and waters will be analyzed for Se content. Seed harvested from plants will be processed for their bio-oil by an upgraded "horizontal oil press and extruder" recently installed under a permanent housing structure at Red Rock Ranch. CSUF will blend canola and otheroils-0%, 5%, 10%, 20% and 30% (by weight) with diesel fuel in afour cylinder Cummings diesel engine (or resonable engine representative of the agricultural industry) mounted on a SuperFlow dynamometer at their engine testing laboratory. Investigators will evaluate preformance form the use of biofules (e.g., power output, starting, fuel consumption, etc.) and the degree of coking in injectors and cylinders. In addition, CSUF also will measure and quantify the presence of ten major pollutants (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide , sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, speciated gas-phase driven exhaust emitted form Cummings Diesel engines. These data will be incorporated into a computer model to study the effects of these emissions on ozone levels. Lastly, the USDA-ARS will pelletize the seed by-products into Se-enriched forage metal afetr extracting the oil from the conola seed, and provide (or market) this products tolocal dairy producers; Se is an essential element for animal nutrition. Producing canola, sunflower, and mustard oils for use in biofuels and for cp-powering agricultural diesel engines may not only improve air quality in the San Jaquin Valley, but these plants may offer growers an economic incentive to utilize agricultural drainage water as a resource and to reduce the volume of drainage water requiring treatment or discharge into the San Joaquin River.
Principal Investigator: Gary Bunuelos
Email address: gbunuelos@fresno.ars.usda.org
Closing Date:  6/30/2008

Evaportraspiration ET
Estimating crop evaporation (ET) and soil salinity is important to evaluate plant water use and improve irrigation and drainage management practices. Remote sensing satellite imagery offers a means to rapidly and frequently determine ET over large cropping areas. Since ET is partly influenced by the moisture content and electrical conductivity of soil water, salinity levels in soils can be inferred form ET calculations. An algorithm called SEBAL (Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land) has been used by numerous researchers to calculate ET form satellite images. The robustness of SEBAL compared to other models lies in the fact that estimated ET is independent from weather, crop, and land use information. SEBAL has been thoroughly tested and validated across different climates and for different vegetation surfaces over the past fifteen years in Europe, the United States, and other regions of the world. Recently a salinity module has been included in the SEBAL algorithm to determine soil water potential in the root zone and infer soil salinity. Therefore, there is a need to validate the use of this new module in California for mapping soil salinity. This research proposes to calculate ET on selected croplands of Fresno County and to validate the salinity module in SEBAL algorithm to estimate soil salinity in those croplands. The project will be conducted over a three-year period and will provide vital data and information on the use of remotely sensed images and SEBAL to quickly and cost-effectively determine ET and soil salinity over large areas of California.
Principal Investigator: Florence Cassel
email address: fcasselss@csufresno.edu
Closing Date: 6/30/2008

Ground Water Mitigation Study
Develop data from studies conducted on farms that will aid in the adoption of management practices for mitigation of pesticide movement to ground water. Determine the effectiveness of the practice to mitigate contamination. Determine the ecectiveness of the pesticide under the new management practice. Determine the efficacy of a management practice (timing regimes of chemical injection).
Principal Investigator:
Email address:
Closing Date: 1/31/2008

Irrigation Association Certification
The Irrigation Association introduced their Certification Program in 1983. The program is designed for irrigation professionals to demonstrate their experience and technical competence to the industry and to customers. Since 1993, the Center for Irrigation Technology has developed and administered all the exams for the program. Exams are written for agriculture, landscape/turf and golf irrigation professionals and are administered in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe.
Principal Investigator: Kate Norum
Email address: katen@csufresno.edu
Closing Date:

IFDM Phase III
Drainage water (DW) re-use is one of several management options to address salinity and drainage problems on the westside San Joaquin Valley (SJV). Due to potentially high concentration of selenium in the DW and associated risks to wildlife, the DW colleted from tile drain systems cannot be discharged into local waterways. A sequential DW re-use system, now called "Integrated, On Farm Drainage Management (IFDM), has operated as a demonstration project at Red Rock Ranch (RRR) since 1996. Although the term IFDM refers to on farm drainage Management, sequential re-use can be employed on regional basis as for example, at the 4000 acre San Joaquin River Improvement Project ( SJRIP) operated by Panoche Drainage District. We have Conducted research in the Red Rock Ranch IFDM since 1997 evaluating the performance of candidate salt tolerant forages and halophytes for IFDM, and more recently, monitoring long-term changes in solid chemistry and infiltration in response to irrigation with the saline-sodic DW. The latter is critical to the sustainability of IFDM because high levels of sodium in irrigation water and air must be maintained in order to minimize the hazard ot wildlife o high levels of selenium in ponded water.
Principal Investigator: Sharon Beenes
Email address: sbenes@csufresno.edu
Closing Date: 6/30/2007

I rrigation Audits by Students
The goal of this program is to improve water use efficiency on residential lawns by increasing awareness and educating upper elementary student about proper irrigation practices. Student and teachers will be provided with materials and instruction on the project, will conduct audits an dwell then report the data collected from their school and residences, to determine the performance of the irrigation system. Guidelines for proper irrigation scheduling will be provided to assist in making changes that could result in water savings. A pre-and post-project survey will be completed by students to measure learning (determine program success). A follow-up survey will be sent to audit participants (parents, friends, neighbors, or apartment managers) after the water audit has been conducted at their sites to determine if the information has changed their irrigation practices.
Principal Investigator: Charles Krauter
Email address: charles@csufrenso.edu
Closing Date: 1/30/2007

Lagoon Emmissions
This study will be conducted at three dairies in the central valley. The dairies will inclde Pet Verburg and Son in Modesto, Hilltop Holsteins in Escalon and a dairy selected by CSU Fresno. The firs two dairies have photorphic lagoons (red water) and the later will be a traditional black wter lagoon. Two periods will be sample, on in the Fall 2006 and the other in the Summer of 2007. Flux chambers and other sampling techniques will be used.
Principal Investigator:
Email address:
Closing Date:

MDCP
International trade is an important part of creating economic opportunities for U.S. companies in the future. The ICWT Export Development Program will fulfill the following objectives in order to improve the competitiveness of the water technology industry. The work plan is fully supportive and consistent with the memorandum of understanding developed between the U.S. Department of Commerce and California State University, Fresno (October 2003). The MOU states in part that the International Center for Water Technology (ICWT) with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce will "encourage and support the growth of U.S. exports of water and fluid science technology, equipment and services, especially among small- and medium-sized manufacturers."
Principle Investigator: David Zoldoske
Closing Date: 
9/30/2008
E-mail address: 
davidzo@csufresno.edu

Ozone Particles Matter
Dairies are estimated to be a significant emissions source of Reactive Organic Gas (ROG), an ozone precursor, and ammonia, a PM2.5 precursor, in the San Joaquin Valley. Accurately quantifying these emissions has been difficult due to the lack of experimental data. In addition, these are currently very little scientific information available to determine the most effective and feasible methods to reduce these emissions form dairies. This project is designed to obtain data that is needed to better estimate baseline emissions rates and to estimate the reductions that are achievable with some of the available technologies. The approach that will be used to obtain the necessary data is to perform field monitoring at a minimum of eight selected dairies to measure atmospheric levels of the pollutants of interest. The data collected form the field monitoring will be used with dispersion modeling to estimate emissions rates. The eight sites will include dairies using different types of emission mitigation strategies plus dairies using no emission reduction technology for comparison. The data will be used to better estimate current emissions from dairies and the potential emissions reductions that can be achieved by using plans (SIP). The results of this project, in combination with the results form research sponsored by the USDA, the Air Resources Board (ARB) and the dairy industry, will be useful in assessing the need and feasibility of future regulatory strategies for dairies.
Principal Investigator: Charles Krauter
Email address: charles@csufrenso.edu
Closing Date: 6/30/2008

Phase 2 Peach Trout
Most peach orchards in California are irrigated by surface (flood) irrigation, or by micro-spray irrigation.  A few orchards use drip irrigation.  This project is designed to evaluate peach water requirements and yields when irrigated by different irrigation methods. In the first phase of the project, we learned that young peach trees grow faster with less water with drip irrigation than with micro-spray irrigation.  This is because micro-sprays wet much of the soil surface and water is lost to evaporation from the soil. We assume that the benefits of drip irrigation will decline as the trees mature.  We are testing several configurations of drip irrigation (surface and subsurface; one, two, or three drip lines per row) and three irrigation amounts (predicted water requirements and 25% above and below our prediction).  We are measuring tree growth, plant water status (stem water potential), soil water content, and peach yield.  Preliminary results indicate that we product slightly more marketable fruit, and larger fruit, with drip irrigation than with micro-spray or furrow irrigation.
Principal Investigator: Tom Trout
Email address: ttrout@fresno.ars.usda.gov
Closing Date: 6/30/2006

Pontential Mitigation Practice Emissions
Based on current estimates, dairies are a significant source of reactive organic gas (ROG) and ammonia emission sin the San Joaqin Valley. Accurately quanitifyin dair emission is extremely difficult due to the complexity of the source, with its many dispersed biological process as well as the challenges in sampling, analyzing and modeling the collected emmison data. Results collected under this project will provide data that are urgenly needed by the California Air Resources Board and Calfonia's air districts to comply with both stat aand federal air quality regulations. At the state level, this research will support development of livestock facilty emissions mitigation plans required under Senate Bill 700 (Florez,2003), an dat the federal level, the research will play an important role in developing emissions control strategies needed to meet federal airl quality standards for the most polluted regions of our state.
Principal Investigator: Charles Krauter
Email address: charles@csufrenso.edu
Closing Date: 6/30/2008

Red Rock Ranch
Soil salinity mapping is important to determine the level and distribution of salinity in fields of Red Rock Ranch (RRR) and Britz Fram. The objective of the proposed work is to collect salinity data in different fields of area B at RRR and four fields of the Britz Fram and to develop soil salinity maps at different depths (0-1 ft, 1-2 ft, 2-3 ft, and average 0-3 ft). The project will be conducted using a mobile conductivity assessment system available at the Center fior Irrigation Technology (CIT) to conduct extended salinity surveys. The mobile system is composed of four basic components mounted on a Spra-Coupe tractor: (1) an EM-38 sensor (Geonics Limited), (2) a global positioning system (GPS), (3) a computer, and (4) a hydraulic soil sampler. The EM-38 sensor will be used to measure soil electrical conductivity down to a depth of 3 ft. The EM instrument will be placed in a carrier-sled attached about 10 ft behind the Spra-Coupe tractor to avoid any EM reading interference. Due to metallic objects. The GPS unit will provide the geographical coordinates of each measurement point. Two digital interfaces will connect the EM sensor and GPS receiver to an on-board computer that will instantaneously record the EM readings along with their GPS location. A survey and statistical software (Lesch and Rhoades, 1999) will be used to record and analyze the EM data. Researchers and technicians at CIT have been using the mobile system and related software for several years.
Principal Investigator:
Email address:
Closing Date: 1/31/07

Remote Sensing
Remote sensing techniques are becoming very useful tools for farmers to precisely manage their production systems by taking advantages of numerous available technologies, such as geographic positioning system, electromagnetic induction, aerial imagery, geographic information systems, and new computer programs. The electromagnetic (EM) induction technique has been widely used in the Central Valley over the past few years to monitor and diagnose soil salinity over large areas. Aerial imagery, obtained from airplanes, provides detailed spatial data on the variability of plant development and can be utilized to develop vegetation and crop water stress indices based on canopy reflectance and temperature. This research proposes to evaluate the benefits and effectiveness of remote sensing techniques in identifying plant health and irrigation needs on a real-time basis, as well as determining relationships between soil quality (salinity) and plant growth (nutrient status). The project will be conducted over three years and will provide vital data to extend our knowledge on the agronomic and economic feasibility of using remote sensing techniques to improve real-time crop and irrigation management within fields.
Principal Investigator: Florence Cassel
email address: fcasselss@csufresno.edu
Closing Date:

Sensor Testing- SWAT
In order to meet te needs of existing and future populations and ensure that habits and ecosystems are protected, which emphasizes careful, efficient use of water is essential in order to achieve these objectives. The role of efficient water use for agricultural and turf-grass production forms a critical relationship, particularly in areas prone to periodic or prolonged drought. The challenge to the irrigation industry is to provide "efficient" irrigation systems for the consumer. It is true there are many water efficient products available in the marketplace. These devices include soil moisture sensors, matched precipitation rate and flow control nozzles, pressure regulation and numerous drip/micro products. However not all products are created equally, and some require more knowledge to properly operate than the homeowner possesses or desire. Over the past two years. The Center for Irrigation Technology has been working closely with water purveyors statewide and the irrigation Association as part of their "Smart" Water Application Technology" (SWAT). A major goal of SWAT is to develop standardized testing protocols for evaluating the reliability, accuracy and repeatability of commercially available soil moisture sensor. Based on beta testing of these protocols following extensive review and revisions by industry personnel, academics and water purveyors, the protocols are now ready for application on commercially available moisture sensors. This project proposes to apply standardized testing protocols on soil moisture sensors operating on different principles. Manufactures will submit 20 of their sensors, of which 10 will be randomly selected and subjected to tests under varying temperature and salinity conditions for cars, medium and fine textured soils. Summary results of the tests will include regression analysis of the moisture content measured by the sensor versus the values calculated from the experimental procedure. The finding from this project will contribute to SWAT's overall mission, and in general, California's agriculture and turf industry, of achieving exceptional water use efficiency in irrigation practices.
Principle Investigator: David Zoldoske
E-mail address: 
davidzo@csufresno.edu
Closing Date: 
9/30/2008

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