The Daily Sentinel 06/27/2014
Copyright © 2014 The Daily Sentinel, Nacogdoches, TX 06/27/2014 June 30, 2014 3:07 pm / Powe...
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  • 1. The Daily Sentinel 06/27/2014 Copyright © 2014 The Daily Sentinel, Nacogdoches, TX 06/27/2014 June 30, 2014 3:07 pm / Powered by TECNAVIA Copy Reduced to %d%% from original to fit letter page BORDERS Poultry Supply, Inc. REACHING FOR EXCELLENCE JUSTIN & ANNA LEE - OWNERSAANNNNAA LLEEEEAA HOURSHOHOHOURURSSURS JUJUSTIN && BOLES FEED NACOGDOCHES, LLC, L, LL Want to quit smoking? Call the QUITLINE 1-877-YES-QUIT (1-877-937-7848) Confidential. Free. Convenient. 109 Temple Blvd. | Lufkin Quitline® Funded by the Department of State Health Services 1/09 16-10891 Agriculture East Texas TheDailySentinel B Editor’s Note: This story is the first in a four-part series exploring the international education partner- ships and research conducted through SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. BY SARAH FULLER Contributing writer ccording to the U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture, the U.S. produced a total of $141.3 billion in agricultural exports in 2012. That same year, the country also imported $102.9 billion worth of agricultural goods. Globalization constructs a world in which citizens not only find economies intertwined, but knowledge and environmental challenges as well. “When student perspectives become international in scope, it greatly increases their ability to deal with local issues because they see the framework for the issues,” said Dr. Steve Bullard, dean of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agri- culture. The mission of the college is three- fold: maintain excellence in teaching, research and outreach; enhance the health and vitality of the environ- ment through sustainable manage- ment, conservation, and protection of forests and natural resources; and enhance the production and economic viability of agricultural commodities. To fulfill these missions and pro- duce society-ready natural resource professionals, the college developed its own goals and actions within the six major initiatives of SFA’s strategic plan. Two of these actions include collaboration with universi- ties in other countries that result in direct interaction between inter- national and SFA students, and the development and implementation of study abroad courses and activities for both undergraduate and gradu- ate students. Bullard said during the college’s 2013 curriculum revision, much focus was placed on the findings of the Southern Forest Futures Project, a multi-year research project conducted by the USDA to forecast changes to Southern forests based on identified concerns. While the report explicitly focuses on Southern forests, the issues are not exclusive to the region. In fact, they reflect the concerns addressed regularly by global organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. “It’s a different eco-physiology and also a different cultural landscape, but rising above that, the issues are the same,” Bullard said. Climate change, habitat fragmen- tation, invasive species, and water quality and availability are a few of the concerns shared by the global community. These can affect eco- logical health and economic sustain- ability. Economic prosperity and ecological health are often seen as diametrically opposed forces, requir- ing the sacrifice of one for the benefit of the other. According to the results of a 2010 study, “The Economics of Ecosys- tems and Biodiversity” conducted by economist Pavan Sukhdev, global forest ecosystem degradation is estimated to cost the economy between $2 trillion and $4.5 trillion a year. “The real problem is economy and ecology, and putting them back to- gether in a sustainable way,” Bullard said. “Through our international programs, that’s what we’re trying to do.” Through these partnerships, lo- cal and international students are addressing global issues such as habitat fragmentation, loss of bio- diversity, air and water quality, and mitigating wildland fire damage. “The real goal for me in engaging students in international activities is to see the transformational impact,” Bullard said. “On the education side and the research side, we’re focusing on solutions for society.” Sarah Fuller is the communica- tions and publican relations coordi- nator for the Arthur Temple Col- lege of Forestry and Agriculture at SFASU. SFASU students Stephen Goodfellow, left, and Zhengyi Wang collect vegetative data in the Netherlands to better address the country’s growing wildland fire issue. Photo by Stephen Goodfellow Contributed photo Jason Grogan, research specialist in SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, explains East Texas forest management practices to exchange student Per Anderson at the Älvdalen’s Educational Center, a forestry and hospitality post- secondary technical college in Sweden. AG ABROADSFA’s international collaborations prepare students for careers A Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Robert Burns Neches is a new white clover variety developed by Dr.Gerald Smith,Texas A&MAgriLife Research plant breeder,Overton.By June 4,this stand was already producing 20 to 30 flowers per square foot,according to Smith. BY ROBERT BURNS AgriLife Extension Agent TexasA&MAgriLifeRe- searchhasreleasedanewwhite clover,namedNechesafter theTexasriver,thatpromises higheryieldsandmuchearlier floweringandseedproduction thananyvarietyheretofore adaptedtoEastTexasandthe southeasternU.S. The clover was developed by Dr. Gerald Smith, AgriLife Research plant breeder at the Texas A&M AgriLife Re- search and Extension Center, Overton. “We’re very excited about this clover because it com- bines a lot of traits that just fit for our area,” Smith said. Like other white clovers, Neches does well on the wet, loamy bottomland soils of East Texas, he said. However, other white clovers do not flower profusely (and there- fore do not produce much seed) until at least early to midsummer. In East Texas, midsummers are usually hot and dry, and white clover stands are likely to die out before they can produce seed. This means white clovers in bottomlands must be reseeded every year to reestablish the stand, which can be an expen- sive proposition, Smith said. With this limitation of ex- isting white clovers in mind, Smith’s goal was to develop a variety at least as highly productive and with as much disease and pest resistance as existing varieties, but one that would flower and produce seed before the stand was lost in summer. Early this June it was obvious Neches fits the bill perfectly, he said. In side-by- side demonstration fields of Neches and a Ladino white clover, the difference in flowering was obvious. While Barblanca, the Ladino clover, had one or two flowering seed heads per square foot, Neches had 20 to 30 seed heads per square foot. Smith also selected for larger leaves, which means high forage yields, another obvious advantage he said. Neches’ advantages didn’t come easily, a fact Smith tends to understate. They are the result of years of meticu- lous crossings and selection of the right plant parent lines that began in 2000. “The parent lines of Neches are highly diverse, including plant introduction lines from Uruguay and Israel, an East Texas ecotype collection and two pest-resistant lines from USDA at Mississippi State University,” Smith said. During the years 2000 through 2004, Smith screened each of these five breeding populations at Overton for early and profuse flowering, large leaf size and high forage production potential, he said. Early high seed production means a Neches white clover stand has a good chance of re- turning yearly, even if plants are killed by summer heat or drought, said Dr. Gerald Smith, Texas A&M AgriL- ife Research plant breeder, Overton. A grazing/daily gains study with these cattle is currently being conducted as a cooperative project with Dr. Monte Rouquette, also at the Overton center. “Plants not selected were removed from the field plant- ing,” Smith said. “All field nurseries were isolated from other white clover plants and natural bee pollination was used for seed production.” In 2005, Smith grew 200 plants from each of the five ad- vanced populations in a com- bined nursery and selected once again for the same traits, he said. Seed harvested from these final selections was used as breeder seed for Neches. Barenbrug USA was granted an exclusive license to market Neches in 2011, and has been increasing the seed at sites in Oregon and Califor- nia, Smith said. According to its website, Barenbrug is a “world leading developer of proprietary turf and forage grass varieties and legume species. The company has been in turfgrass plant breeding, seed production and marketing since 1904.” “Neches should be available this fall anywhere Barenbrug seed is sold,” Smith said. TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE

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