Fresno State atmospheric ammonia researchers will test air at world Ag expo

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Fresno State atmospheric ammonia researchers will test air at world Ag expo

Visit Fresno State’s booths in Pavilion C (Booths 3311-3313) for the latest on atmospheric ammonia research and sample air-testing demonstrations as well as the Fresno State equestrian team.

Fresno State’s BEELINE Navigator satellite tractor is being demonstrated throughout the day. LOCATION: tractor demo area or check at the exhibit in Pavilion C Booths 3209 and 3210. CONTACTS: Carl Pherson or Austin Downs (Fresno State) or Brock Taylor (BEELINE).

TULARE, Feb. 13 — A three-year research project on atmospheric ammonia by plant science professor Charles Krauter will be showcased by California State University, Fresno at the World Ag Expo unfolding Tuesday through Thursday in Tulare complete with a sample test of the air at the event.

The California Agricultural Technology Institute and other university groups, including the nationally-renowned Fresno State Equestrian Team, are in full force this week at what is billed as the world’s largest farm show.

The university’s BEELINE Navigator system — a satellite-driven tractor via global positioning — will be demonstrated in Pavilion C #3209 and 3210.

Also located in the university’s six-booth space in Pavilion C (#3311-3313) are the College of Agricultural Sciences Technology student recruitment ambassadors, the Bulldogs athletics department and the Save Mart Center Sales Office, which will run its interactive video display on laptop computers with wall projection.

A micro irrigation workshop conducted by research scientists from California State University, Fresno’s Center for Irrigation Technology is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Ag Tech Center adjacent to the Ag Expo and an afternoon session at 2 p.m. will highlight an Internet-based irrigation-scheduling Website, Wateright.org.

The ammonia emission presentation at the ag expo is just one of many that CATI undertakes and will feature operating research equipment as well as lead researcher Krauter.

Krauter will discuss and demonstrate how his project will help farming industry learn more about ammonia emission by measuring atmospheric NH3 levels at various farm and non-farm locations in the Valley, including an air sampling at the Expo in Pavilion C.

Krauter will be joined for the air testing demonstration by Fresno State research teammates Dave Goorahoo and Genett Carstensen.

“Ammonia gas (for NH3 ) is a trace element sometimes emitted from fields following application of nitrogen-based fertilizers,” Krauter said. “When the ammonia evaporates from the soil, it is lost to the crops and also can facilitate formation of particles in the air.”

He said the study’s objectives are to:

• Determine the major agricultural field sources of atmospheric ammonia emission in the Central Valley of California;

• Determine the seasonal flux rates of atmospheric ammonia emissions in the Valley; and

• Determine a regional budget of annual atmospheric ammonia emissions related to crop production in the Valley.

The atmospheric ammonia research involves investigators from Fresno State, NASA Ames Research Center and CSU, Monterey Bay.

The funding for this ongoing project is from the California State University system’s Agricultural Research Initiative (ARI), the California Air Resources Board, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the NASA-Ames Research Center.

CATI/ARI is a $12 million-plus applied research umbrella organization of the CSU that provides for collaborative applied agricultural and natural resources research and development activities primarily at Fresno State, CSU Pomona, CSU San Luis Obispo and CSU Chico as well as at other auxiliary and collaborating CSU and University of California campuses and programs.

Its programs promote new and existing technologies that might improve the economic performance, environmental compatibility and survivability of California agriculture, said Joe Bezerra, CATI director/ARI executive director based at Fresno State.

Both CATI and ARI programs Other Fresno State features at the expo include:

• Demonstration of the university’s BEELINE Navigator system — a satellite-driven tractor via global positioning — in Pavilion C #3209 and 3210.

• The College of Agricultural Sciences Technology student intern College Ambassadors, who will be on hand to answer questions about the university and its ag programs.

• The Bulldogs equestrian team and athletics department members, who will offer autographed posters and discuss how students can join the team. Equestrian coach Megan McGee also hopes to drum up general community support for the team and her dream of building a new equestrian center next to what will be the Save Mart Center on campus.

• Save Mart Center Sales Office representatives will be present for anyone interested in Personal Seat Licenses or Arena Builder seats. The interactive video that is available at the www.savemartcenter.com website will be displayed.

• Bulldogs mascot Timeout may also make a surprise appearance.

• A micro irrigation workshop conducted by research scientists from by Fresno State’s Center for Irrigation Technology is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Ag Tech Center adjacent to the Ag Expo.

• An afternoon session at 2 p.m. will highlight an Internet-based irrigation-scheduling Website, Wateright.org.

For more information about the research projects or CATI, call (559) 278-2361 or link to its website from www.fresnostatenews.com.