• Tree Fruits for Alaska

      Babb, M. F. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1959-03)
      This circular has been prepared with three major objectives in mind. 1) to define areas in which tree fruit culture is possible in Alaska and the types of fruit that can be grown in each, 2) to name and describe the varieties that at the present time seem more desirable for planting in Alaska, and 3) to point out the m?-in problems limiting tree fruit culture and suggest, rather than discuss, the probable means by which they may one day be solved. Fulfilling the first two of these objectives was a relatively simple matter, since it was only a matter of defining and description. But the third objective was not-and is not-so easy of attainment. In what may be an oversimplification, it has been stated that there are two main problems, winter hardiness and earliness of maturity, and methods have been indicated by which, it is believed, each may be overcome. However the very problems themselves are not as simple as they have been made to appear. That of winter hardiness is one of the most widely debated and investigated subject in plant science. And the characterization of the second as "earliness of maturity" makes it sound too simple, for actually the factor involved, as it applies to fruit growing in Alaska is aiding or hastening natural earliness of maturity. This is a far more complex matter. In describing the solutions of these problems, mention has been made of such factors as pruning and training, fertilization, furnishing protection to increase available heat, and limiting the water supply to the trees during the period of fruit maturation. Each of these subjects has also been the subject of numerous investigations and some of them have been the subject of textbooks. The discussion of them here has been limited to simple statements as to their merit in achieving specific objectives. Most of the statements made are based on research in Alaska. In one particular, however, they have knowingly been extended beyond the domain of research-supported conclusion. This is in advocating the withholding Qr decreasing water available to the trees during the maturation of the fruit. Some will disagree with this recommendation, for it runs counter to what is considered good orchard management in commercial fruit producing regions of the world. In these an ample water supply is advocated for this period to increase fruit size and heighten, though not to increase, coloration. In Alaska both considerations should be waived in favor of obtaining reasonable yields of fruit, suitable for culinary purposes.In all three regions of Alaska where tree fruit production is at all possible, lack of winter hardiness in the trees and failure of fruit to mature properly are the two chief limiting factors.

      Mitchell, W.W. (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1989-03)
      Trials conducted with entries of oats, barley, and triticale on the university tract in 1987 and 1988 provided the first research information on triticale for forage use at Pt. MacKenzie. Triticale is a hybrid resulting from a cross between wheat and rye. The rye ancestry would confer greater acid tolerance than is possessed by wheat alone. In previous trials with cereals on the moderately to strongly acidic soils of Pt. MacKenzie, the better yielding oat varieties have out produced barley (Mitchell 1983 and unpublished data).
    • Turfgrass in the North

      Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2008
      Research at SNRAS in sports turf vegetation, landscaping, disease prevention and resistance, and the economic and agricultural impact of subarctic turfgrass and sporting greens.

      Mitchell, Allen; Gavlak, Ray; Hall, Beth; Evers, Timothy (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2003-09)
      There are currently more than 20 public golf courses in Alaska that suffer varying degrees of winter turf injury from diseases, ice suffocation, and winterkill. For example, during the winter of 2001–2002, essentially every green and many fairways in Alaska suffered some degree of winter injury resulting in significant expense to reseed. The current study evaluated and compared new varieties and species against Nugget and Arctared on sand-based greens and soil-based fairways. We also assessed overseeding with rough bluegrass and bentgrass as a remedial treatment to establish playable greens.
    • Two Thousand Years of Peonies: Lessons for Alaska Peony Growers

      Zhang, Mingchu (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2013)
      The UAF School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences and Agricultural & Forestry Experiment Station have been working for the last decade on a long-term project exploring the potential for the cut flower market in the 49th state—which looks to have significant potential.
    • Urban use of Alaskan farm products

      Johnson, Hugh A. (University of Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1953-09)
    • Use of Alaska–Grown Whole Seed Canola in Dairy Cattle Diets-Year 2

      Randall, Kirsten; Dofing, Stephen; Brainard, Donald J. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1995-05)
    • Use of Canola in Dairy Cattle Diets: Year 3

      Randall, Kirsten; Dofing, Stephen M.; Brainard, Donald J. (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1996-02)
      This report presents results from the third and final trial of a three-year study by the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (AFES) investigating the use of Alaska-grown whole-seed canola in dairy cattle diets.
    • Use of native Alaskan materials for farm and home construction

      Branton, C. I.; Fahnestock, C. R. (University of Alaska, Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1953-11)
    • Using GIS-based and remotely sensed data for early winter moose (Alces alces gigas) survey stratification

      Clyde, Karen J. (2005-05)
      Stratification of moose survey areas is a key step to reduce population estimation variance. In the Yukon and Alaska, use of fixed-area grids for early winter moose counts combined with the increasing availability of GIS and remotely sensed data provide the opportunity to develop standardized and repeatable habitat-based stratifications. I used univariate comparisons, stepwise regression and AIC modeling to describe moose distribution as a function of landscape level variables for an area in west central Yukon during 1998 and 1999. Results quantified early winter habitat use of upland shrub habitats and support previous observations for early winter moose habitat use in Alaska, Minnesota and Montana. Number of patches, in association with areas of alpine and shrubs, were found to be highly influential for survey blocks where moose are expected to be present and in high numbers. Overall, model performance based on relative abundance of moose was less predictive than for blocks where moose were present or absent. Spatial resolution of GIS and remotely sensed data used in this study (25 m grid cells) provided sufficient spatial detail to generate correlations between moose presence and habitat for a first level stratification.
    • Using remote sensing to examine changes of closed-basin surface water area in Interior Alaska from 1950-2002

      Riordan, Brian Alan (2005-05)
      Over the past fifty years Alaska has experienced an increase in mean annual temperature. This warming may be causing significant changes in hydrology and permafrost dynamics. In recent decades, Native Americans and land managers have reported losses of water bodies and surface water area in interior Alaska. We conducted a study to determine the degree to which these informal observations were representative of a regional trend in surface water area loss. This study examines closed-basin water bodies in nine regions across Alaska: 1) Copper River Basin, 2) Talkeetna, 3) Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, 4) Denali National Park, 5) Innoko Flats National Wildlife Refuge, 6) Minto Flats State Game Refuge, 7) Stevens Village, 8) Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, and 9) Prudhoe Bay/Arctic Coastal Plain. The study included approximately 850,000 hectares and over 40,000 water bodies. To conduct such a large-scale study, GIS and Remote Sensing techniques were applied. Water body change detection was conducted over a fifty-year time period. A minimum of three time periods were used for each area. Imagery included black and white aerial photography (1950 -1957), color infrared aerial photography (1978 -1982), Landsat TM (1986 - 1995), and Landsat ETM+ (1999 - 2002). Based on these images, water body polygons were digitized for each time period. Area was calculated for each polygon and compared to corresponding ponds from images at later times. Of the nine regions, six showed substantial reductions in surface water area: Copper River Basin, Minto Flats, Innoko Flats, Yukon Flats, Stevens Village, and Denali National Park. The Innoko Flats and Copper River Basin regions showed the most loss at 31% and 28% respectively. There are several mechanisms possible for reductions of surface water in a warming climate including increased formation of taliks, increased soil water holding capacity, increased evapotranspiration, and terrestrialization.
    • utilization of native BLUEJOINT grass in alaska

      Klebesadel, L.J.; Laughlin, W.M. (University of Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1964-03)
    • Utilizing pasture resources for sub-Arctic agriculture: sustainable livestock production in Alaska

      Starr, Laura Marie; Rowell, Janice; Greenberg, Joshua; Seefeldt, Steven; Zhang, Mingchu (2017-05)
      It is estimated that the globe must produce 100% more food in the next 50 years to meet growing demand while addressing the compounding challenge of climate change. One potential solution to this challenge is to produce more on existing agricultural lands and put more land into production. The extremely cold and dry climate that characterizes much of Alaska has all but removed the state from the state and national discussions of agricultural production and development. Yet despite this apparent incompatibility with traditional agricultural models, some of the largest wild herds of grazing ungulates are indigenous to Alaska - and thriving. This is both a testament to the resilience of grazing systems in general as well as a statement to the suitability of grazing systems specifically for Alaska. To shift the paradigm towards ecological and economic sustainability, we need to develop sustainable agricultural strategies that are specific to this unique ecosystem. A two-fold approach was used in this body of research: Is there an indigenous livestock species that could be economically feasible enterprise option? Is there a grazing management regime for subarctic Alaska that would improve ecosystem services and optimize pasture resources? I conducted an economic feasibility study of farming muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), a uniquely adapted Arctic ungulate, to address the first question. An enterprise budget was used to estimate the fixed and variable costs and to model different revenue scenarios using six different combinations of qiviut, sold as raw fiber or value added yarn, and livestock sales to estimate the total economic potential of farming muskoxen at two scales, 36 and 72 muskoxen. Farming muskoxen was economically sustainable under several revenue scenarios. The most profitable scenario for either herd size was selling all the qiviut as value added yarn coupled with livestock sales. The enterprise was profitable at either scale assuming all the yarn sold at full retail price. If no livestock were sold, selling the total qiviut harvest as yarn was the only profitable option. When selling raw fiber alone, the break-even point was at a herd size of 124 muskoxen. Economies of scale accounted for a decrease in costs of approximately 21% overall, 30% in labor, and 23% in herd health, as the herd doubled in size. To address the need for grazing management strategies that are both environmentally and economically sustainable in Alaska, I conducted a study to evaluate the potential of intensively managed rotational grazing (IMRG) regimes on sub-arctic pasture. This regime is designed to mimic the short but intense grazing of wild, migratory ungulates that could enhance ecosystem function while optimizing pasture usage and forage growth. I conducted simulated grazing, applied using IMRG methodology, to evaluate above and below ground response to an IMRG regime and to gain insight on the role of grazing disturbance mechanisms on sub-arctic soil and plant health. A full factorial experiment of muskox dung/urine deposition (M), simulated trampling (T), and herbivory (H) (forage clipping), mimicking IMRG timing and intensity, was conducted at the Large Animal Research Station (LARS), UAF. I used a randomized block design with 96-1 m² plots in two established pastures with different soil types, over the 2014 and 2015 grazing seasons. I documented a treatment effect on soil parameters, forage growth, and percentage of bare soil (p<0.05). Soil nitrogen cycling and the Haney Soil Health Index both increased in plots that received a combination M and T or MT and H. The forage yield was consistently increased by MH, MTH, and H treatments. Although the MT and T treatments had a negative impact on forage yield, they had the largest reduction in the amount of bare ground. The data from this simulated study suggest that theories that underpin the IMRG method are potentially useful to producers, in the unique Alaskan subarctic environment.
    • Validating SNAP climate models

      Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2009
    • Vegetable Cultivar Trials 2003

      Matheke, Grant E. M.; Hanscom, Jan; Holloway, Patricia S.; Gardiner, Alfreda (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Georgeson Botanical Garden, 2004-10)
    • Vegetable gardening in Alaska

      Georgeson, C. C. (Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1928-11)
      This bulletin is intended for settlers and prospective settlers in Alaska and for others who may be interested in gardening in the Territory. The information given is based upon the results of investigations by the Alaska Experiment Stations during 29 years and should be useful to those who are planning to make Alaska their home. The great extent of the Territory and the variable climate make it necessary to refer briefly to the features which characterize the climate as a whole and to some extent to local conditions as regards temperature and rainfall during the growing season.
    • Vegetable growing in Alaska

      Georgeson, C. C. (Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1905)
      In this bulletin an attempt is made to present in an assimilated form what experiments and experience have taught as the best practice for vegetable growing in Alaska. It is of course understood that it is utterly impossible to give directions which can be followed in all places and under all circumstances. The Territory of Alaska is so extensive and the climatic conditions so variable that a practice which may be highly satisfactory in one section or in a given locality may result in total failure in others. Indeed, it is not infrequently the case that a practice which is successful in any given locality one year may result in failure the next year. This is the case, for instance, when the season is very wet one year and dry the next. In a wet season it is quite often desirable to raise the seed beds 4 to 6 inches by shoveling out the paths between them, but this practice is not a success in a dry season. It is therefore possible to give only general directions in a bulletin which is intended to be of use in the whole Territory. There are two factors which modify the practice in Alaska as compared with farming and gardening elsewhere; and these are (1) the climate, and (2) the soil. The Alaska climate has a reputation for rigor and inclemency on which it is not necessary to comment here. This fact is accepted as a matter of course. The fact that the soil differs in many respects from soil in more temperate latitudes is perhaps not so well understood. Such is, nevertheless, the case, and before one can work it successfully he must learn, either from his own experience or the experience of others, in what respects it differs from soil in lower latitudes.
    • Vegetable Trials 2006

      Matheke, Grant E.M.; Hanscom, Jan; Holloway, Patricia S.; Gardiner, Etta (Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2007-02)
    • Vegetable Variety Trials Matanuska Valley, Alaska 1989

      Gavlak, Raymond G.; Carling, Don; Comeau, Mary; Purser, Jerry; Vandre, Wayne; Walworth, Jim; Wright, Catherine (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1990-05)
      To remain competitive, commercial vegetable producers require updated information on the performance of new vegetable varieties under the soil and climatic conditions of southcentral Alaska. Variety trials provide the opportunity to evaluate potentially adapted plant material. Although many varieties are developed in environments considerably different from that of southcentral Alaska, some may prove to be useful to commercial growers in Alaska. The information on new varieties must be collected over several growing seasons to provide sufficient confidence in the observed performance. Additionally, each year of the performance trials, new varieties are grown with traditional or standard varieties which are used to compare the quality of the new varieties. Commercial production of new varieties should be considered after several years of variety trial work with initial plantings on a small production scale.
    • Vegetation succession and pedogenesis on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta near St. Mary's, Alaska

      Woodgate, Melissa M.; Ping, Chien-Lu; Valentine, David; Swanson, David (2015-08)
      Arctic lowlands of Alaska are known to contain large stores of soil organic carbon (SOC) in organic-rich wetland systems and in the permafrost. Vegetation succession that follows floodplain and wetland development strongly affects the organic carbon stores and distribution of permafrost. Due to recent climate warming there has been losses of permafrost, and much of the SOC stored in Arctic lowlands is at risk for transfer within the global carbon budget. The vast Arctic lowland system in western Alaska is within the zone of discontinuous permafrost. It is anticipated to lose most of the permafrost within this century, yet it is inadequately studied due to the lack of road system connecting the region. This study is the first designed to explore the relationships between vegetation succession and soil development at different stages of sediment deposition. The study area is near St. Mary's at the north part of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Coastal Plain in western Alaska. Soil development is weak due to frequent flooding events and prolonged saturation. The irregular distribution of organic carbon and detritus, silt dominated particle size distribution, and nearly uniform composition of clay minerals with depth attest the alluvial deposition due to flooding events. Cryaquents were found in poor to very-poorly drained raised alluvial bars, Cryaquepts were found on somewhat poorly drained levees, Historthels were found on an abandoned floodplain, and Cryofibrists in very poorly drained depressions. Carbon stores range from 27.7 kg C m⁻² on raised alluvial bars and levees and 40.9 to 45.3 kg C m⁻² on oxbow depressions and the abandoned floodplain. It is crucial to have reliable measurements of SOC stores in order to estimate the potential impact of climate change on the global carbon budget. Soil development and nutrient level in response to vegetation succession are also reported for the area near St. Mary's, Alaska to add to the current understanding of soils in the region and the global carbon budget.