UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- "Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population." This truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for the future of agriculture. Research published today (Feb. 22) in Bioscience suggests that production likely will need to increase between 25 percent and 70 percent to meet 2050 food demand. The assertion that we need to double global crop and animal production by 2050 is not supported by the data, argues Mitch Hunter, doctoral student in agronomy, in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. He says the analysis shows that production needs to keep increasing, but not as fast as many have claimed.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, to design a low-cost, integrated system that can identify and screen for high-yielding, deeper-rooted crops. The interdisciplinary team, led by Jonathan Lynch, distinguished professor of plant nutrition, will combine a suite of technologies designed to identify phenotypes and genes related to desirable root traits, with the goal of enhancing the breeding of crop varieties better adapted for nitrogen and water acquisition and carbon sequestration.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation will support a new research project aimed at pinpointing the genes that confer disease resistance in cacao. The ultimate goal of the four-year study is to develop a new approach that plant scientists and breeders can use to identify the genetic basis for disease resistance in a variety of perennial crops, according to lead researcher Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State's Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs has named 15 faculty members as distinguished professors. College of Agricultural Sciences •Jonathan P. Lynch, professor of plant nutrition
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Dan Stearns, J. Franklin Styer Professor in the Department of Plant Science at Penn State, recently was awarded the status of Trailblazer by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — David Mortensen, professor of weed and applied plant ecology in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, was appointed to the National Organic Standards Board by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Mortensen will serve a five-year term on the board as a farming systems ecotoxicology expert.
Julianna Razryadov’s passion for green roofs has led her around the world and back again. After traveling to Switzerland, New Zealand and Malaysia, Razryadov, who grew up in New York City, returned to the Northeast to study the benefits of using native plants to boost the sustainability and aesthetics of green roofs across the United States.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When the Nittany Lions take the field for this year's Homecoming game on Oct. 8, Beaver Stadium spectators and television viewers alike will watch the team play on a vibrant, green athletic field, carefully manicured and painted with precision for its game-day glory.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Greg Roth, professor of agronomy in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will become associate head of the college's Department of Plant Science, effective Oct. 1. In announcing the appointment, Rick Roush, dean of the college, said Roth will work with Department Head Erin Connolly, faculty and staff to keep a large, complex department with multiple educational and research programs functioning smoothly. The department employs more than 100 faculty members and research, extension and support staff.
Horticulture professor Rob Crassweller has been helping apple growers boost production for more than 30 years. The University's College of Agricultural Sciences has been conducting research on apple tree rootstock at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs since the early 1970s. Here, a group from the Pennsylvania Fruit Grower's Association tours the orchard, led by Horticulture Professor Rob Crassweller (in light-colored hat).
Dr. Jonathan Lynch named Chair of the Plant Efficiency Advisory Council for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit organization established by the 2014 Farm Bill to support innovative science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Plant Science majors Casey Baxter and Mikaela Hermstedt may know all there is to know about the Irish potato famine. This past spring, they took HORT 499H Walking in the Footsteps of the Irish During the Irish Potato Famine: Examinations of New World Crops in Old World Societies. The honors class included a 10-day trip to Ireland after a semester of lectures on the potato and other essential crops of both the United States and Ireland.
On July 20, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a law allowing the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and institutions of higher education to grow hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) for research purposes. Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is working with the state department of agriculture to develop the policies, procedures and applications needed to facilitate and guide such research projects.
Summer marks first production season for student-run farm 1-acre farm grows and sells produce to university, local businesses Organization plans to host tours and events for summer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A group of Penn State students huddles over a wooden worktable in Headhouse II. Their hands move in unison as they clip the leaves and clean a harvest of microgreens, which were planted in the greenhouse in early spring. In a few days, the gardeners-in-training will dine on the tiny leaves (that look more like shamrocks than lettuce) during an end-of-semester potluck. Alongside their microgreens, the students grew organic tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers and herbs as part of a hydroponics and aquaponics class, which taught the ins-and-outs of using soilless processes to grow plants. The students’ efforts — which on a weekly basis yielded up to 80 pounds of cucumbers alone — were a success, in part, due to new technology added to the nearly 60-year-old greenhouse.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- When trade organizations representing the chocolate industry created an endowment in 1986 to support Penn State research on Theobroma cacao -- the cocoa tree -- the use of biotechnology to improve plants was still in its infancy. Now, three decades later, the endowment has grown, and along with it the scientific knowledge that is helping to promote economic security for cocoa farmers in developing countries and to ensure a reliable supply of the raw material needed to manufacture one of the world's favorite delicacies.
Old-fashioned breeding techniques are bearing more fruit than genetic engineering in developing hyper-efficient plants.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Erin Connolly, professor of biological sciences at the University of South Carolina, has been named professor and head of Penn State's Department of Plant Science, effective May 15.
The battle against invasive species is never-ending for agricultural producers, and the latest example is a pair of weeds that threaten to cause significant damage to crop yields across Pennsylvania. Researchers and extension specialists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are warning growers to be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth and waterhemp, two species of pigweed that are gaining a foothold in the state.
Over thousands of years, most forests in the eastern United States evolved with frequent fire, which promoted tree species and ecosystems that were both fire and drought resistant. In little more than a century, humans upset that balance, suggest researchers, who blame the change, in part, on the well-meaning efforts of Smokey Bear.