Agricultural Mechanics Certificate
Teaching and Research Farm
The Teaching and Research (T/R) Farm at Morrisville State College is located in close proximity to campus. The students who take soil and crop science classes use this farm as an outdoor laboratory. At the farm, they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in their classes. In addition, the students pursue research projects at the farm, interpret their data, and present their results at the annual meeting of the College's Agronomy Club.
The T/R Farm includes a gamagrass project where students are evaluating the effect of various crop covers on protecting gamagrass against freeze and thaw that damages this grass. It is a cooperative project between the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and Morrisville State College. The principal investigator of this project is Dr. Paul Salon from the USDA's Big Flat Plant Material Center in Corning New York. Two additional projects are being conducted by researchers from Cornell University. The first project entails trials on corn hybrids, conducted by Dr. William Purdy, while the second is on alfalfa by Dr. Julie Hanson.
The Department of Agricultural Engineering operates five teaching laboratories. These include the Small Power Equipment Laboratory in 115 Marshall Hall, the Hydraulics Diesel Equipments Laboratory in 117 Marshall Hall, the Tractor Laboratory for Farm Machinery and Heavy Equipment in 119 Marshall Hall, the Diesel Fuel Systems Laboratory in 125 Marshall Hall, and the Welding Laboratory in Galbreath Hall.
GPS or Global Positioning System is being used in a variety of applications: from airplane navigation to precision farming. It utilizes specially-coded satellite signals that can be processed in a GPS receiver, thereby enabling the receiver to accurately mark its position. Morrisville State College operates a GPS/GIS computer laboratory to train students in this cutting-edge technology. The students use the laboratory to gain hands-on experiences on both GPS and GIS. The laboratory (located in 208 Bicknell Hall) is equipped with 16 state-of-the-art computer systems that run both ArcView GIS 3.3 and ArcGIS 9.1 (both a product of the ESRI).
Students who take precision farming, soil and crop science, photogrammetric mapping, and GPS/GIS classes use 204 Charlton for a variety of exercises and projects including field mapping and GIS. The students also collect GPS data using a variety of GPS systems (more than 18 Garmin GPS 12 and Magellan GPS 310 units) including real-time and post-processing differential GPS (DGPS). The real-time DGPS systems include a couple of Trimble GeoExplorer 3.0 units with a beacon-on-a-belt for receiving differential corrections from the USCG beacons. Numerous WAAS-based DGPS systems are also available for classroom instruction, laboratory exercises, and class projects. These include Garmin GPS 72, Garmin GPS 76, and Standard Horizon NAV 40 real-time DGPS systems. A post-processing DGPS system is also available. The Ashtech system is comprised of a roving unit and a base station located in Charlton Hall (computer software is utilized in this case to differentially-correct the collected GPS data). Finally, a John Deere GreenStar precision farming is also available for both teaching and demonstration. The system includes a StarFire GPS receiver that allows for real-time differential corrections of GPS measurements based on signals from a satellite or the WAAS operated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).