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CottonLink: The Influence of Media-Friendly CDs Upon Quantity and Quality of News Coverage

Principal Investigators: Cindy. Akers, S. Bullock, J. Haygood

Objectives:

  • Describe print-based coverage of the cotton industry in terms of quantity and quality prior to the distribution of CottonLink.
  • Determine if significant differences exist in quantity and quality of print-based coverage after the distribution of CottonLink.
  • Ascertain if quantity and quality differences exist in coverage based upon industry segments (production, ginning, processing, etc.).
  • Identify sources of extraneous error that may have influenced coverage between baseline and post-CottonLink distribution.

Developing, Applying, and Evaluating Site-Specific Cotton Management Strategies in the Texas High Plains

Principal Investigator: Stephan. J. Maas

Objectives:

The primary objective is to develop precision agriculture strategies for managing irrigated cotton in the Texas High Plains that result in increased farming efficiency and improved profits for the farmer.

Specific Objectives:

  • To collect spatial field data (including soil samples, plant mapping, yield maps, soil electrical conductivity maps, topographic maps, and remote sensing imagery) from fields on Brightbill Farms for comparison with existing data from previous years.
  • To analyze these data to develop maps showing the spatial distribution of target yields for each field in the study.
  • To develop procedures for using these data, along with response functions relating cotton growth and yield to various environmental factors (obtained from previous field-plot research), to delineate crop management zones within each field for variable-rate seeding and application of water, fertilizer, growth regulator, and defoliant.
  • To set up experiments on Brightbill Farms where portions of fields receive site-specific management (according to management zones delineated through Objective 3) for comparison with other portions treated as controls.
  • To statistically analyze the results of these experiments to determine yield differences between precision agriculture and traditional practices, and to determine the economic differences between precision agriculture and traditional practices.