Category Archives: Research

AgriLife Research study: Winter wheat feasible cover crop for Rolling Plains cotton

Interest in using cover crops to improve soil health continues to grow in the Texas Rolling Plains region, but the nagging concern of reductions in soil moisture and effects on yields of subsequent cash crops still exists. A Texas A&M AgriLife Research-led team is releasing the results of a recent simulation study that builds on field research in the December issue of Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, or ASABE, journal. The paper, Simulated Effects of Winter Wheat Cover Crops on Cotton Production Systems… Read More →

Cotton gin trash finding new life for electrical power

Finding sustainable markets for gin trash, wood chips and other waste products could be viable in producing more electrical power for a growing global population, according to researchers. A demonstration was held recently on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station showcasing a biomass-fueled fluidized bed gasifier, utilizing cotton gin trash and wood chips to power an electric generator. The fluidized bed gasification system was developed in the 1980s when a patent was issued to Drs. Calvin Parnell Jr. and W.A. Lepori, who were both part… Read More →

Sheng named resident director for Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center-El Paso

Dr. Zhuping Sheng has been named director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center-El Paso, effective Sept. 1. Sheng joined the center in April 2001 and is a professor of agricultural engineering with AgriLife Research. “Dr. Sheng’s expertise in agricultural engineering and water along with his proven leadership ability make him an excellent choice for guiding the El Paso center’s research efforts,” said Dr. Craig Nessler, AgriLife Research director, College Station. According to AgriLife Research, the mission of the El Paso center is to lead and conduct innovative… Read More →

Water quality fellowship provides hands-on learning opportunities at Texas A&M

A summer program at Texas A&M University recently provided 15 undergraduate students with fellowships in water quality to study the impacts of on-site sewage facilities on soil and water quality. The students were from Texas A&M, Prairie View A&M Florida A&M, and Kansas State universities. The two-year undergraduate program is offered by Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M universities and was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture. According to program coordinators, the goals of the Research and Extension Experiential Learning program are… Read More →

NASA Project Targets Hydraulic Property Using Satellites

Understanding the movement of water in soil is critical for many Earth Science Application (ESA) ranging from a local to global scale. However, soil properties describing these flow processes are often unknown. Furthermore, traditional ground-based measurement techniques for such soil properties are limited to a small scale only. More recently, with the deployment of new Earth observing satellites such as Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) and Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS), measuring soil water retention and hydraulic properties from space is a new unexplored area of research…. Read More →

Runoff reduced, water retention increased by multi-paddock grazing

Adaptive multi-paddock grazing has been found to be an effective conservation practice on grazing lands for enhancing water conservation and protecting water quality, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study at Vernon. The research results were summarized in the article “Evaluating the ranch and watershed scale impacts of using traditional and adaptive multi-paddock grazing on runoff, sediment and nutrient losses in North Texas, USA,” published recently in the Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment journal The full journal article can be found at http://bit.ly/2mCiqdl. Conducting the AgriLife Research study… Read More →

Dr. Rabi Mohtar touts global water awareness at Vatican

Citing the need for heightened interest in water availability globally, Dr. Rabi Mohtar, biological and agricultural engineering professor at Texas A&M University, took center stage March 24 at Vatican City as part of Watershed, a conference to spark global conversations of the importance of water and the future. Pope Francis addressed the general audience in Saint Peter’s Square highlighting the importance of water and urged the Watershed conference to action around water values. The Watershed conference followed with a welcome session and first technical session on the water… Read More →

‘Internet of things’ to create big data for irrigated agriculture

Big data is big business, and everyone wants a part of the pie, however agricultural irrigators should take a careful look before accepting irrigation advice from new technology sources, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist. Dr. Charles Hillyer, AgriLife Extension irrigation specialist in Amarillo, said a recent survey on emerging irrigation technologies identified the “internet of things” or IoT as the most important issue. What is that? Big data, Hillyer said. “Most mentioned by the survey takers is having lots of devices being used by… Read More →

Green infrastructure, low-impact development focus of Feb. 2 workshop in Dallas

A Green Infrastructure/Low-Impact Development Workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m.-noon Feb. 2 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 17360 Coit Road in Dallas. The workshop is sponsored by the Texas Water Resources Institute, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Nikki Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist with the institute, said the workshop will address the design, installation and benefits of low-impact development, or LID, in urban areas. It will also include a tour of LID structures at the Dallas center,… Read More →

Nanotechnology Paving the Way for Food Safety

Dr. Carmen Gomes is a gifted faculty member here at Texas A&M University’s Biological and Agricultural Engineering department. She is an associate professor and her research applies nanotechnology to improve food safety. Dr. Gomes started her journey at Texas A&M as an undergraduate visiting scholar from Brazil through a Fulbright fellowship and had the opportunity to work under Dr. Rosana Moreira in her food processing laboratory. After her fellowship ended and Dr. Gomes returned to Brazil to finish her degree in Food Engineering, Dr. Moreira, Professor of Biological… Read More →