Postharvest Engineering Programs
A systems approach is taken for improving the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables available to consumers. Systems thinking, soft systems methodologies, simulation models and games, and other methods increase the understanding of each business link and interactions among links in supply chains for fresh produce. Results from systems studies help prioritize laboratory and field research studies.
Crop Modeling, Agrometeorology and Decision Support
The main focus of this research program is on the development and application of decision support systems to help solve problems related to crop production, crop management, resource use, including water use, impact on the environment, such as pollution, economic sustainability, food security, climate change and climate variability. This activity has actively resulted in the model CROPGRO and the new model Cropping System Model (CSM) which has been integrated into the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). DSSAT is a PC-based decision support system that includes tools and utilities for processing of weather, soil and crop management data, application programs for seasonal, crop rotation and spatial analysis, and the CSM cropping system model for more than 20 crops.
The water resources engineering work at Griffin is focused on pollution prevention in the urban landscape setting. This includes working on water conservation methods for improving landscape irrigation efficiency and finding alternative water sources other than municipal drinking water for landscape water needs. Projects developing and evaluating best management practices to prevent water quality degradation from landscape design, installation and maintenance are ongoing. Solutions to urban water resource issues need to include improving water quality, sustainability of economic development, implementing measurable goals and increased public education and awareness.