Throughout my career, my work has been applied in nature, with
many of the activities taking place in the field. A major thrust since 1981
has been Equipment development for mechanization of alternative crops
including guayule, jojoba, lesquerella, vernonia, hesperaloe, chia, chan, aloe
vera and halophytes. Many of these projects have required
extensive travels to Mexico, the Middle East, Central and South America,
with a number of them requiring development of equipment suitable for developing
In addition to equipment development, my research has included planting, cultivation, irrigation and harvesting of test plots of numerous crops in various locations. One study examined the ability of different tree species to utilize excess tailings water at a mine in Peru.
Monitoring of dust emissions from tillage operations was a key effort a few years ago, with the work being driven by the increased concerns about agriculture's contribution to particulates in the air.
Development and evaluation of various tillage systems for cotton have encompassed a considerable amount of my time, with the work leading to a patented single-pass plow down system for cotton stalks which is being commercially sold. Systems to mechanically remove weeds from within and between cotton rows were developed, as were gantry and cable drawn farming systems.
Field evaluation of various spraying technologies including electrostatic, air assisted, hydraulic, etc. has taken place in a number of crops including cotton, tomatoes, lettuce, cauliflower, melons, and beans. Measurement of deposition on the crop using leaf washing, photographs, phosphorescent dyes as well as water and oil sensitive cards was an integral part of these projects.
Most of my time the past several years has been devoted to the production, evaluation and commercialization of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) This crop, which was one of the four most important crops of the Aztecs, contains the highest amount of omega3 fatty acid of any plant known, and also contains significant amounts of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. For additional information on this crop and its many health benefits go to www.azchia.com or purchase the book entitled CHIA which is published by the University of Arizona press.