• Better Coverage of Arizona's Weather and Climate: Gridded Datasets of Daily Surface Meteorological Variables

      Weiss, Jeremy; Crimmins, Michael; Univ Arizona, Coll Agr & Life Sci (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2016-08)
      Many areas that use agricultural and environmental science for management and planning – ecosystem conservation, crop and livestock systems, water resources, forestry and wildland fire management, urban horticulture – often need historical records of daily weather for activities that range from modeling forage production to determining the frequency of freezing temperatures or heavy rainfall. In the past, such applications primarily have used station-based observations of meteorological variables like temperature and precipitation. However, weather stations are sparsely and irregularly located throughout Arizona, and due to the highly variable terrain across the state (Figure 1), information recorded at these sites may not represent meteorological conditions at distant, non-instrumented locations or over broad areas. This issue, along with others related to quality, length, and completeness of station records, can hinder the use of weather and climate data for agricultural and natural resources applications. In response to an increasing demand for spatially and temporally complete meteorological data as well as the potential constraints of station-based records, the number of gridded daily surface weather datasets is expanding. This bulletin reviews a current suite of these datasets, particularly those that integrate both atmospheric and topographic information in order to better model temperature and precipitation on relatively fine spatial scales, and is intended for readers with knowledge of weather, climate, and geospatial data. In addition to addressing how these datasets are developed and what their spatial domain and resolution, record length, and variables are, this bulletin also summarizes where and how to access these datasets, as well as the general suitability of these datasets for different uses.
    • Compost Tea 101: What Every Organic Gardener Should Know

      Joe, Valerisa; Rock, Channah; McLain, Jean; Univ Arizona, Coll Agr & Life Sci (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2017-08)
      Growers of organic produce in the Southwestern United States face many challenges, including variation in water and temperature, and exposure to insects and disease. As a result, smallholder organic farmers are increasingly relying on soil additives such as compost tea that improve product quality, use less water, deter pests, and reduce reliance on chemical additives (Diver, 2002). But what exactly is compost tea? Do the benefits of using compost tea outweigh any concerns? For example, can it contain pathogens, and if so, do applicators have to worry about coming into contact with pathogens? This publication provides facts about making compost tea, and reviews both the benefits and potential disadvantages to help smallholder farmers to make educated decisions regarding the use of compost tea.
    • Hand Tools Used for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

      Franklin, Edward; Univ Arizona, Coll Agr & Life Sci (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2017-08)
      A description of the multiple hand tools commonly used to measure energy output of solar photovoltaic (PV) silicon-type modules. These tools include a digital multi-meter to measure voltage, a clamp-on ammeter to measure current, a pyranometer to measure solar irradience, an angle finder to measure module tilt angle, a non-contact thermometer to measure solar cell temperature, and a Solar Pathfinder to evaluate a potential site for shading issues.
    • Laboratories Conducting Soil, Plant, Feed, or Water Testing

      Schalau, Jeff W.; Univ Arizona, Coll Agr & Life Sci (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2016-09)
      This publication lists laboratories that provide soil, plant, feed, and water testing within the state of Arizona. Revised September 2016.
    • Trouble Shooting Problems of Bedding Plants in the Southwest

      Schuch, Ursula K.; Univ Arizona, Coll Agr & Life Sci (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2017-01)
      Bedding plants create instant impact with color and foliage. They are installed twice a year in the desert Southwest and require significant investment. The ten most common bedding plant problems encountered in the arid climate of the Southwestern United States are described. They include abiotic problems caused by drought, wind, freezing, overwatering, lack of light, and nutrition disorders. Biotic problems include fungal diseases, insects, and wildlife. Prevention or early intervention will prevent problems in bedding plants.
    • Watering Trees and Shrubs: Simple Techniques for Efficient Landscape Watering

      Call, Robert E.; Daily, Cado; Univ Arizona, Coll Agr & Life Sci (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2017-08)
      Techniques and tips on watering trees and shrubs efficiently. Topics include weather, plant type, soil type and signs of under and over watering. Originally published 2006