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Spotlight on Youth - Oct. 10, 2012
 
Equipment upgrades to enhance UK Ag research
PRINCETON, Ky. — In the past year, the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center in Princeton has made substantial technology upgrades to the center’s equipment to help further its research mission.  

These upgrades include an improved farm record keeping system and precision agriculture instruments on a sprayer, a tractor, a combine and an all-terrain vehicle. 

The sprayer was purchased through funds from the Kentucky Corn Growers’ Association, Kentucky Soybean Board and the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. The other equipment upgrades were funded through the center.

UK College of Agriculture researchers have conducted studies in the past using various precision agriculture technologies at the center, but this year is the first time the new technologies are available to every researcher who has plots on the research farm and research plots on Western Kentucky producers’ farms. Researchers and farm staff now have real-time, online access to the farm’s records, including field history, which will help them resolve land use issues. In addition, researchers can see when farm personnel make nutrient and chemical applications throughout the growing season, as well as how their research plots yielded at harvest.

Additional benefits include lower fuel costs and time saved applying chemicals and nutrients.

UT Forest recertified as American Tree Farm site
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — On the first day of autumn, before a crowd of forest land owners from across the state, the University of Tennessee Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center — which includes the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge — was recertified as a member of the American Tree Farm System. The announcement came during the center’s Woods and Wildlife Field Day on Sept. 22.
Certification with the American Tree Farm System means that the UT Forest Resources Center adheres to eight stringent standards of sustainability and best management practices for forestry production and harvesting, including following detailed forest management plans that meet or exceed requirements to preserve and protect soil, air and water quality; fish and wildlife biodiversity; and forest aesthetics. According to the American Tree Farm System, certification assures consumers that products they purchase originate from sustainably managed forests that protect economic, social and environmental benefits. 

To qualify for recertification, the center revised its previous management plan to meet the new tree farm certification standards and then went through a required external audit and review of its processes. In accordance with American Tree Farm System guidelines, the review was conducted by an independent third party, in this case, foresters with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry.  

The Forest Resource AgResearch and Education Center is one of 10 research facilities operated by the UT Institute of Agriculture. 
10/10/2012