Vice President’s Message
As we face continued declines in state funding, I want to assure you that Clemson Public Service Activities (PSA) remains focused on supporting South Carolina’s agribusiness industries.
In this issue you will find reports on research, Extension and regulatory programs directed at strengthening the rural economy and protecting natural resources.
The crop improvement program brings growers the highest quality planting stock as soon as seeds are released for commercial distribution by researchers and plant breeders.
Cattlemen improve their breeding herds with purebred bulls evaluated and sold at the Edisto Research and Education Center. A joint research and Extension program has created a regional council to share research information with producers on the important role forage (pasture-feeding) can play in producing high-value livestock.
A new variable rate irrigation system developed by biosystems engineers conserves water and increases yields by applying it only as needed in individual management zones within a field. A mobile laboratory takes precision agriculture tools to the field so growers can pinpoint specific amounts of fertilizer, pesticides or water needed in different areas of the field.
Plant scientists are developing methods to reduce crop losses in soybean and cotton caused by diseases and insect pests. One study could significantly reduce the amount of insecticide used to control damage to cotton yields caused by stinkbugs.
Forestry researchers have determined how much leasing hunting rights can increase the value of forestland, in addition to protecting wildlife habitat. Molecular biologists and plant scientists are seeking genetic connections to increase the growth and maturation of forest trees.
Ecologists and water quality scientists are addressing pollution and erosion caused by stormwater runoff in several areas of the state. This includes installing “green infrastructure” to slow runoff and using remote data collection to track water flow and quality before and after the system is installed.
I hope these reports give you an idea of the impact that Clemson PSA is having across the state. More reports are online at www.clemson.edu/public/impacts/.
John W. Kelly
Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture