Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 9:45 AM

The Impact of Urban Encroachment on the Agricultural Experiment Station.

C. L. Morrison, Joe Bush, S.S. Lee, and Barney Power. University of California, Agricultural Operations, 1060 Martin Luther King Blvd., Riverside, CA 92507

Experiment stations associated with campuses commonly become victims of urbanization. The campus needs land to grow as does the surrounding community to provide campus support, all converting land from agriculture putting pressure on the experiment station. A station located in an urbanizing rural area eventually loses much of its usefulness as a research facility while appreciating as real estate. A major impact of the urbanization of the experiment station surrounds is the loss of clientele as Principal Investigators avoid using the facility due to their perceptions of the change in the kind of research possible. Agricultural exemptions are disappearing and restrictions are getting tighter that increasingly require changes in cultural practices regarding fumigation, pesticide use, dust generation, fruit tree removal, and fruit on the ground. Problems associated with urbanization that typically increase are crop theft and vandalism. Residents in adjacent houses enjoy the open land, but still don’t want dust, odors, and perceived threats to health and the environment. The UC Moreno Field Station was sold after it became surrounded by housing developments plus one hospital built on part of the experiment station land and another built adjacent to and downwind. Research had become restricted, use declined, and the land value had become the potential source of funding for a new campus building.