Date: February 1, 2005
Creator: Campbell, Jonathan T.; Baynes, Edward E., Jr.; Aguirre,Carlos (University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX); Jordan, Jon (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ); Giacomelli, Gene (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ); Waggoner, Justin (New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM) et al.
Description: Reducing agricultural water use in arid regions while maintaining or improving economic productivity of the agriculture sector is a major challenge. Controlled environment agriculture (CEA, or, greenhouse agriculture) affords advantages in direct resource use (less land and water required) and productivity (i.e., much higher product yield and quality per unit of resources used) relative to conventional open-field practices. These advantages come at the price of higher operating complexity and costs per acre. The challenge is to implement and apply CEA such that the productivity and resource use advantages will sufficiently outweigh the higher operating costs to provide for overall benefit and viability. This project undertook an investigation of CEA for livestock forage production as a water-saving alternative to open-field forage production in arid regions. Forage production is a large consumer of fresh water in many arid regions of the world, including the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. With increasing competition among uses (agriculture, municipalities, industry, recreation, ecosystems, etc.) for limited fresh water supplies, agricultural practice alternatives that can potentially maintain or enhance productivity while reducing water use warrant consideration. The project established a pilot forage production greenhouse facility in southern New Mexico based on a relatively modest and passive (no ...
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