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October 31, 2011

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have been awarded a $2.3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate how certain cover crops and rotations can improve production of organic commodities. The study's goal is to determine whether diverse cover crop mixtures -- as opposed to a single-species cover cropping -- can enhance ecosystem functions in a corn-soybean-wheat cash crop rotation that produces organic feed and forage, according to project leader Jason Kaye, associate professor of soil biogeochemistry.

October 24, 2011

A post-doctoral scholar and instructor in Penn State's Department of Crop and Soil Sciences has been recognized by the Ecological Society of America as a 2011 ESA Education Scholar. Emily Rauschert, a plant ecologist who works in the Department of Crop and Soil Science's Weed Ecology Lab, also was appointed by the society to a two-year term as a contributing editor of the Ecological Society of America EcoEd Digital Library.

October 22, 2011

With the arrival of apple-harvest season, researchers and extension educators in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have teamed with counterparts from across the country to establish a new online resource about growing apples and apple production.

October 3, 2011

Listeriosis outbreaks like the current one traced to Colorado cantaloupes are extremely rare, according to a farm food-safety expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. But Luke LaBorde, associate professor of food science, worries that melons present a heightened risk for spreading food-borne illnesses.

October 3, 2011

Choosing which college to attend can be a difficult decision for high school students, but Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is trying to make it a little easier with its Open House and High School Senior Day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, at the University Park campus.

September 21, 2011

Now that communities across the state have dried out and are repairing damages from Tropical Storm Lee, a gardening expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences reminds backyard gardeners that fruits and vegetables are not safe to consume if they have been partially or completely submerged in flood water or have come in contact with contaminated water.

August 17, 2011

Reacting to sagging populations of bees and other pollinators, members of Gov. Tom Corbett's staff recently sought and received Penn State Extension certification for the gardens at the Governor's Residence as "pollinator friendly."

August 15, 2011

Road maintenance may accidentally spread the seeds of invasive plants, according to Penn State researchers. "The road graders that are used during these operations can act like a plow, pushing seeds along the road," said Emily Rauschert, senior project associate and applied ecologist in crop and soil sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences. "They can pick up seeds of an invasive grass and spread them several orders of magnitude further than the natural dispersal."

July 15, 2011

Surinder Chopra, associate professor of maize genetics in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study molecular mechanisms that control genetic modifications during plant development.

July 5, 2011

Despite widely published reports, many people are unaware that bees -- both managed colonies of honeybees and wild bees alike -- are in trouble due to Colony Collapse Disorder and other environmental factors.

June 22, 2011

Many homeowners live in envy of those neighbors who seem able to turn a few trees, flowers and even rocks into an inviting outdoor scene. But you, too, can do it by following a few basic guidelines, according to a horticulturist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

June 16, 2011

Dean McPheron recently presented a draft plan for a new academic unit structure in the college. His proposal reduces the number of academic units from 12 to 9, and would have a dramatic impact on the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. If this plan is implemented the crop and turf science faculty would merge with Horticulture to form a new Plant Sciences unit, while the soil science faculty would merge with the School of Forest Resources to form a unit call Forestry and Ecosystem Management. (Click the title of this article for more information on the new academic unit structure proposal).

June 16, 2011

Penn State staff and researchers have battled aggressively for years the two primary diseases threatening the landmark American elm stand on the University Park campus. A recent resurgence in one of those diseases -- Dutch elm disease, an old nemesis -- has forced the University to remove 16 elms this summer.

June 9, 2011

The Arboretum at Penn State is a peaceful place with lily pads floating on flat-water ponds; delicate flowers flanking curved walkways; and young leaves stretching out from the branches of graceful trees. But the arrival of 300 fourth-graders on April 29 changed the mood from serene to spirited.

May 23, 2011

Farmers using a cover-crop seeder developed by Penn State agricultural scientists may eventually need only a single trip across the field to accomplish what takes most farmers three passes and several pieces of equipment to do. Pennsylvania farmers are increasingly interested in growing cover crops, but the time, cost and late fall harvest of corn and other crops often limit their use, said Gregory Roth, professor of agronomy.

April 26, 2011

Three researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences recently were awarded a total of more than $2.8 million in Sustainable Bioenergy Grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

April 7, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Water Program has selected four clean-water projects initiated by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences as Regional Projects of Excellence for the mid-Atlantic region. Water-quality projects started by Professor Charles Abdalla and Distinguished Professor Douglas Beegle were among four that were recently recognized as excellent by the USDA, and have been expanded in the mid-Atlantic region.

March 29, 2011

The location of a Marcellus Shale drilling pad site could mean the difference between life or extinction for some of Pennsylvania's unique wildlife, Penn State officials said Thursday. But if planned properly, there's room in the state's woodlands for it to thrive alongside responsible drilling, Penn State wildlife resources professor Margaret C. Brittingham said.

March 2, 2011

Penn State turfgrass research and education will get a boost as the result of a recent gift to the College of Agricultural Sciences. Pennsylvania Turfgrass Research Inc. gave the college $300,000 to establish an endowment -- the Pennsylvania Turf Research Innovation Fund -- that will provide financial support for studies to address important issues facing the turf industry, while creating new research opportunities for students.

February 22, 2011

The Penn State Agronomy Guide always has been nearly indispensable for many farmers. But the 2011-12 edition may be even more valuable than before. Updated and released bi-yearly by the College of Agricultural Sciences, the publication should now appeal to a wider audience, according to Marvin Hall, professor of forage management and co-author of the guide. "It's the traditional book, but it also contains crucial agricultural information for nontraditional agricultural producers," he said.