Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Growing Oklahoma

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Growing Oklahoma


OK-FIRE

OK-FIRE is a weather-based system for wildland fire management featuring products for fire weather, fire danger, and smoke dispersion. Utilizing the Oklahoma Mesonet for recent/current weather conditions and an 84-hour numerical forecast, OK-FIRE is useful for both wildfire (anticipation of high fire danger periods and suppression guidance) and prescribed fire (planning for and conducting the burn). OK-FIRE is a program of the Oklahoma Mesonet and is directed by Dr. J. D. Carlson of our department. Half-day computer workshops are offered throughout the state during the fall to train wildland fire managers in the available products and use of the website.

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National Whole Chain Traceability Institute at OSU

Oklahoma State University (OSU) has developed traceability software that allows for the transfer of data among individuals in the commodity supply chain. The purpose of this system is to create a secure network for information to be shared between producer and consumer. Previous attempts to make such a system were not successful because producers were concerned about data privacy. OSU has addressed this issue by allowing the producer to control who can see their information. Individuals own there data, allowing them to control what information others can see. This protects producers from the government using their data against them. To use OSU’s traceability system, the purchase of a RFID reader “wand” and RFID tags is necessary. Most RFID readers will put data into a Microsoft Excel file automatically, which then can be edited and uploaded to OSU’s database. The goal for traceability is to apply it to all agriculture products. Consumers will be able to learn where everything on their plate came from. Every component of a TV dinner will be traced back to the producer.

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Biobased Products and Energy Center

In many ways, Oklahoma is the intersection between agriculture and energy, placing Oklahoma State University on the frontline in the need to develop new technologies that increase the efficiency of or create new energy sources. Since the early 1990s, our future-minded, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional OSU Biofuels Team has been committed to conducting basic and applied research necessary to making renewable energy crops a practical enhancement of the nation’s energy portfolio. In 1970, approximately 70 percent of the oil used in the United States came from domestic sources. In 2007, that number was 35 percent. By 2025, estimates are that it could be less than 23 percent. Factor in the increase in global demand, the nationalization of 80 percent of the world’s oil reserves, carbon tax legislation and renewable fuel standards and it is clear that the American energy policy is undergoing significant change. The need to diversify America’s energy resources has never been more vital. OSU is particularly well-positioned to take a lead role in helping the U.S. become a viable biobased economy, with leadership and expertise in every aspect of biofuels research and development.

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Mesonet

About the Mesonet:

The Oklahoma Mesonet is a world-class network of environmental monitoring stations, designed and implemented by scientists at the University of Oklahoma (OU) and at Oklahoma State University (OSU). The Oklahoma Mesonet consists of 121 automated stations covering Oklahoma. There is at least one station in each of Oklahoma's 77 counties. At each site, a set of instruments on a 10-meter-tall tower measures environmental factors. These measurements are packaged into "observations" every 5 minutes, then transmitted to a central facility every 5 minutes, 24 hours per day year-round. The Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS) at OU receives the observations, verifies the quality of the data and provides the data to customers. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes from the time the measurements are acquired until they become available to the public.

Definition:

"Mesonet" is a combination of the words "mesoscale" and "network". In meteorology, "mesoscale" refers to weather events that range in size from about one mile to about 150 miles. Mesoscale events last from several minutes to several hours. Therefore, mesoscale weather events are phenomena that might go undetected without densely spaced weather observations. Thunderstorms, wind gusts, heatbursts, and drylines, are examples of mesoscale events. A "network" is an interconnected system. Thus, the Oklahoma Mesonet is a system designed to measure the environment at the size and duration of mesoscale weather events.

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Oklahoma Water Resources Center

The Oklahoma Water Resources Center is the center of water-related research and extension activities in Oklahoma. Established in 1965, the Water Center (formerly known as the Oklahoma Water Resources Research Institute) is one of 54 institutes/centers in the U.S. and a member of the National Institutes for Water Resources. Located in the Division of Ag Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University, the Center helps resolve water issues in Oklahoma by sponsoring research and disseminating the knowledge that results from it. The research is funded through grants from the United States Geological Survey. The Center enlists the help of 24 state, federal, tribal, and private organizations through its Water Research Advisory Board, which sets priorities and selects projects for funding.

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Stored Products Research and Education Center

The Stored Products Research and Education Center (SPREC) is a facility that exists as a tool to be used by faculty and staff with existing programs and budgets to conduct their research and/or educational and extension programs. Listed below are projects that will utilize SPREC in the short-term for which there is current funding and staff in place to conduct the work. Proposed activities that will require future funding are also listed and are designated as long-term objectives.

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