Highlights of recent R&D outputs from this Department are as follows.For soil and water conservation of sloping land: After years of field trials, the optimum cultural practices for orchards in the hill trench of sloping land is determined. For pineapples, contour planting with plants closely spaced and mulched with rice straw help to conserve water and soil and increase yields. Cover crops, grown in the whole orchards or in strips, as well as mulching can be used in the cultivation of lychee and mango to prevent soil erosion and improve soil structure. Bahia grass is recommended as the best covering grass for the hill orchard and the lining material for the grass ditch. Outdoor classrooms and demonstration farms are also established to educate the public about soil and water conservation.For processing of horticultural crops: canning technologies for pineapple, carambola, lychee, papaya and muskmelon; juice-making technologies for pineapple, papaya, carambola, passion fruit and tomato; dehydration technologies for pineapple, melon, papaya, mango, carambola and guava; confection processes for pineapple, papaya, carambola and Indian jujube; and puree processes for muskmelon and Indian jujube. Other processed horticultural products include green mango pickle, pickled immature muskmelons, pickled taro stems, onion crisps, fruit wines, and health wines. The aforesaid technologies and processes have been transferred to small-scale rural processing plants. Moreover, glucuronoxylomannan, a polysaccharide, from the fruiting bodies of white jelly mushroom (Tremella fuciformis) is shown to be involved in the stimulation of vascular endothelial cell growth, anti-allergic function, moisturization to the skin, etc. Thus, efforts have also been made to develop drink and other value added products from this medicinal mushroom.For agro-meteorology: a first-order automated agricultural weather station has been set up to be part of a network for conducting long-term weather observations across Taiwan and collating acquired weather data and related information for agricultural activities.