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2017

Landscape contracting student blazes his own trail
December 1, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Elliot Redding, a junior in landscape contracting, is taking full advantage of his time at Penn State to dig into the world of agriculture and find a career he is passionate about. From landscape competitions to networking to mountain biking, Redding is getting hands-on experience doing what he loves. Redding’s interest in landscape contracting began with a job he held between high school and college with Boyer Nurseries and Orchards Inc., a small family-owned business in Biglerville, Pennsylvania. “Working for Boyer helped me realize that I really did want to go into horticulture as a career,” said Redding. He had the opportunity to work with a group of people who were always willing to answer his questions and help him learn about the industry. It also gave him a wide range of experiences including working with design plans, observing day-to-day operations and spending time in different parts of the company.
Phospholutions selected for Innovation Showcase on Capitol Hill
December 1, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State was recognized for its leadership among land-grant universities for its work in entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development at the recent annual meeting for the 237-member Association of Land Grant Universities (APLU) in Washington D.C. At the meeting, Penn State President Eric Barron was named the new chair of the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity (CICEP). Penn State Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey was acknowledged as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity (ICEP) University Award finalist. Sharkey was a featured speaker, sharing institutional strategies driving the success of the Invent Penn State initiative.
Research yields test to predict bitter pit disorder in Honeycrisp apples:Test could prevent millions of dollars worth of wasted fruit annually
October 30, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A test to determine whether bitter pit — a disorder that blindsides apple growers by showing up weeks or months after picking — will develop in stored Honeycrisp apples was developed by a team of Penn State researchers, promising to potentially save millions of dollars annually in wasted fruit. While Honeycrisp is not yet the most popular apple in the U. S., trailing Gala and Fuji in sales, more Honeycrisp trees have been planted in recent years than other varieties, according to researcher Rich Marini, professor of horticulture, College of Agricultural Sciences. That is because consumers prefer Honeycrisps and they typically wholesale for 30 to 40 cents more a pound than other varieties, he said.
College of Agricultural Sciences professor honored by alma mater
October 19, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Marvin Hall, professor of forage management in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, recently was lauded by his alma mater, Bluffton University, for his professional accomplishments. Hall was a recipient of Bluffton's Professional Achievement Award, an honor given to alumni and faculty who have reached milestones in their professional career. He received the award during a ceremony in Bluffton, Ohio, on Oct. 7.
Distinguished Alumni Award Seminar - Dr. Bruce Bugbee
October 11, 2017
Dr. Bruce Bugbee's Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 10:30am in 101 Agricultural Science & Industries Building, University Park Campus. His seminar is titled " Turning Photons into Food: on Earth and on Mars”, or “What Mark Watney Would Have Learned from a Horticulture Degree at Penn State.”
Barb Stettler among honorees at university homecoming
September 26, 2017
Exceptional Bluffton University alumni and faculty are honored each year during Homecoming weekend at the President’s Banquet. During the event, alumni and faculty who have reached milestones of achievement, service and giving are recognized. This year, alumni awards will be presented to Dr. Marvin H. Hall, a 1977 graduate who will receive the Professional Achievement Award, and Barbara Stettler, associate professor emerita of family and consumer sciences, who will receive the Faculty/Staff Service Award.
Leaf sensors can tell farmers when crops need to be watered
September 13, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Plant-based sensors that measure the thickness and electrical capacitance of leaves show great promise for telling farmers when to activate their irrigation systems, preventing both water waste and parched plants, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Post-doctoral Research Associate Position Available in Plant Science
August 29, 2017
Post-doctoral position to coordinate and conduct research and extension activities in a multidisciplinary project on approaches to reducing tillage in an organic, cover crop-based feed grain production system in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Penn State researchers hope to extend berry growing season in Northeast
May 18, 2017
June marks the start of what many here in the Northeast believe is the sweetest part of summer — berry season. It's a time ripe with strawberry festivals, pick-your-own-berries and local farmers' markets.
Centre County to be included in statewide hemp research
March 23, 2017
STATE COLLEGE - A few years ago, the federal government changed its regulations that allowed people to do research on industrial hemp. The state passed legislation last year that made that possible in Pennsylvania. On Friday, the Department of Agriculture announced that 16 teams from across the state were approved to conduct studies on the plant. Penn State Professor Greg Roth is the head of one of those research teams.
American Society of Agronomy -Magic Cover Crop Carpet
March 3, 2017
Organic farmers have to make hard choices between protecting soil from erosion and controlling weeds. For example, large-scale organic farming relies heavily on tillage. Tilling breaks up the soil to kill weeds and prepare for planting. But intense tillage can compact soil, cause erosion, and deplete nutrients. As a result, some organic farmers are turning to cover crops for weed control.
Widely accepted vision for agriculture may be inaccurate, misleading
February 23, 2017
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.
Researchers receive $7 million grant to develop deeper crop roots
January 16, 2017
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.
Researchers receive $3.6 million to study genetics of plant disease resistance
January 9, 2017
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.
Fifteen named distinguished professors at Penn State
January 9, 2017
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
Stearns receives Trailblazer award from Association of Landscape Professionals
January 4, 2017
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.
Penn State plant scientist appointed to National Organic Standards Board
January 4, 2017
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.