Science and Technology

ISAT Symposium turns 21

Industrial hemp research among projects discussed


by Eric Gorton

 
image: /_images/madisonscholar/2017-ISAT-Symposium-1-1000px.jpg

SUMMARY: The daylong event, held for the 21st year, also featured poster presentations and research by students majoring in computer science, geographic science and intelligence analysis.


In photo above, ISAT seniors Evan Hylton (left), Justin Ngo (center) and Nick Gentile discuss their research Friday, April 21, on growing industrial hemp in Virginia. Hemp can only be grown for university research in Virginia and requires stringent licensing and protocols. Two 10-acre crops were planted in May 2016 for the JMU study, one in Rockingham County and the other near Afton.

In August 2016, the seeds and stalks were harvested. Seed weight, total number of  seeds, total number of  plants, stalk length and stalk diameter were captured after harvest to measure crop characteristics and yield. The trio examined the differences in crop characteristics and yield based on farm and fertility levels, and explored strengths and weaknesses of  the experimental design used in 2016 to recommend new strategies for planting in 2017.

The ultimate goal of the project is to explore the agricultural feasibility of growing industrial hemp on small and medium-sized farms in Virginia, and integrating small-farm production with a potential supply chain for three key products: hemp fiber; hemp seed for livestock feed and human consumption; and hemp oil for biofuel.

Dr. Nicole Radziwill was the capstone adviser.

The daylong event, held for the 21st year, also featured poster presentations and research by students majoring in computer science, geographic science and intelligence analysis.

Three people with backs to the camera face a poster, with Sharon Simmons pointing at a spot on the poster.

Sharon Simmons, head of computer science, discusses findings with students.

Profile of two male students looking at a poster and talking.

ISAT junior Jeff Mangold (left) discusses research he worked on with Joe Timmins, a sophomore majoring in ISAT.

photo taken from the second floor looking down at two people discussing a poster on the first floor.

Posters lined the first and second floors of the ISAT/CS and EnGeo buildings.

photo of several groups of people discussing several posters in a hallway.

More information on the symposium, including lists and descriptions of projects can be found on the ISAT website.

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Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017

Last Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017

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