Field infected by fusarium wilt of lettuce
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND LIFE SCIENCE
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  Early Research Staff History Early Land Use Building & Improvements YAC Departments

In 1984, there was a name change for the Yuma Branch Station to the above Yuma Agricultural Center (YAC).

Plant Science  Department


This is the oldest of the departments. All of the early research perhaps up to 1945, was largely in this area. Other than the superintendents, C.W. Van Horn arriving in 1935 would seem to be the earliest of the department research personnel. Eventually, the Plant Science Department became involved in all phases of field crop production, including varieties, plant populations, chemical effects, breeding economics, and many miscellaneous projects including the introduction of new crops for Yuma County. Important faculty members includes:  Dr. Ernest Jackson, Dr. Ross Rodney, and more recently, Dr. Glenn Wright and Dr. David Still.
Currently, the two faculty members from the Department Of Plant Sciences stationed at the Yuma Agricultural Centers are Dr. Glenn Wright, Citrus Specialist, and Dr. David Still, Vegetable Specialist. Dr Wright focuses his research on citrus rootstocks and cultivators, citrus irrigation, fruitwood management and orchard floor management. Dr. Still works on vegetable physiology, especially in regards to stand establishment and seed physiology.

Entomology Department

The research program has been concerned with both economics and basic research. Dr. Don Tuttle joined the research staff in Feb. 1952 and was the first Research Entomologist for the state of Arizona. In addition to insect research, he made major contributions in acarology while systemic working with Dr. E.W. Baker (U.S.D.A., Beltsville, MD) on the systematics of the superfamily of tetranychidae (spider mites) and tenuipalpidae (false spider mites). Beginning in 19??,  Dr. Theo Watson, although stationed on campus,  conducted much of his research on cotton insects on the Yuma Experimental Farms. Currently the entomology research programs are under the direction by both, Dr. John Palumbo and Dr. David Kerns.

Dr. John Palumbo is a Research/Extension  Entomologist. He conducts research on the biology and management of insects, pests of vegetables, including sweet potato whitefly, leafminer, the green peach aphid, and the beet army worm. Research interests include: impact of insect feeding on plant physiology. relationships between insect density and crop yield, statistical ecology of insect populations, and development of application techniques for new insecticides.
Dr. David Kerns came to the Yuma Agricultural Center in 1994. He is an IPM Specialist, with responsibilities primarily in vegetables and citrus. In vegetables, he has concentrated his research on insecticide resistance and resistance monitoring of green peach aphid, beet armyworm and cabbage looper. He has also been involved in characterizing the activity of insecticides and finding alternative insect pest management techniques. In citrus he has worked on sampling techniques, action thresholds and control strategies for citrus thrips, citrus peel miner, citrus mealybug and woolly whitefly. Beginning in 1996, he began conducting limited research in cotton where he has concentrated on insecticide efficacy and investigating the sublethal effects on insecticides and insect growth regulators on cotton aphid.

Animal Science Department

In 1954-1956, there was interest in sheep and cattle, research but the sheep projects lasted only a short time. As researchers, Mark McKinney started in 1954 and was followed by Les Rosenblant in 1956. From 1958-1978, John Kuhn conducted valuable research on beef cattle for nutrition and production efficiency. John was followed by Don Mitchell and then Steve Elrod. There were no projects after 1987 and the cattle pens were removed at the Yuma Valley Farm in 1994.

Plant Pathology Department

A research program has been in progress since 1955 when Dr. Robert Marlatt set up the laboratory at the Yuma Valley  Farm. Dr. Ross Allen joined the staff at Yuma in 1955 and then Dr. Merritt Nelson in 1957. Both were very capable and both moved on to become head of the Department in Tucson. Dr. Joseph Troutman arrived in 1968 and was involved primarily with citrus diseases for the most part. Dr. Ed Nigh came in 19?? specializing in nematologist. Most recently Dr. Mike Matheron (1984-) is involved with fungal diseases of vegetables and tree crops in Arizona.
Dr Mike Matheron is involved with new and improved methods for control of fungal diseases of vegetables and tree crops in Arizona. His extension duties are concerned with the identification, biology and control of plant diseases. He also teaches Plant Pathology 305, an introductory course for The University of Arizona through our Community College (AWC).
Soil and Water Department

This department is involved with basic and  applied research of the nutrient requirements of plants, soil fertility, crop rotation, soil management, soil texture and structure, and the application of nutrients. Dr. Bryant Gardner (1963-1990) was concerned with soils. Dr. Robert Roth (1971-1989) was involved with water requirements and management. Dr. Charles Sanchez (1991-) a Water and Soil Specialist is currently conducting soil fertility research.  His main research focus is in the area of soil fertility with interest in soil salinity as well.  He is currently conducting soil fertility research on vegetables crops and citrus.  In May of 1996,  Dr. Sanchez was named Resident Director of the Yuma Agricultural Centers having a double appointment serving as both a Researcher and a Farm Director.

Arizona Crop Improvements Association

The Arizona  Crop Improvement staff at Yuma  includes members like Herbert McDonald on the Citrus Budwood Certification Program which was started by Dr. Ross Allen.  Stanley Athorp (1971-1978) who was in charge of field crop seeds and was followed by Johannsen (1978-1980), and  John Loghry (1994-) who is currently in charge of the Citrus Budwood Certification Program.

Acknowledgements

Occasionally, some information is repetitious in this report but has been retained for the overall sake of clarity.
Special thanks is extended to Dr. Don Tuttle for the time spent in the gathering of this historical information in this report.
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