Department of Plant Science

Offering Penn State degrees in agroecology, golf course turfgrass management, horticulture, landscape contracting, and turfgrass science.

Plant Science News

Mark Guiltinan, J. Franklin Styer Professor of Horticultural Botany.
Plant science faculty member named Styer Professor
September 21, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, recently was named the J. Franklin Styer Professor of Horticultural Botany. The Styer Professorship, created in 1990 by an endowment from late Penn State alumnus J. Franklin Styer, is intended to supplement departmental support for outstanding faculty and further the scholar's contributions to teaching, research and service.
Both conservation scenarios simulated in the research decreased nitrous oxide emissions by reducing denitrification, but the scenario that included manure injection, shown here, retarded 91 percent of the nitrogen volatilization that occurred in the broad
Conservation dairy farming could help Pa. meet Chesapeake target
September 14, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — If the majority of dairy farms in Pennsylvania fully adopt conservation best-management practices, the state may be able to achieve its total maximum daily load water-quality target for the Chesapeake Bay, according to researchers. That is the conclusion of a novel assessment of the simulated effects of implementing a conservation dairy-farming system on all dairy farms in the Spring Creek watershed, a small drainage in Centre County. In the simulations, the conservation dairy-farming systems — which have been developed and tested by Penn State researchers over the last decade — produce the majority of the feed and forage crops consumed by their cattle, use no-till planting, have continuous diversified plant cover, and have one system to employ manure injection.
Hannah Hunsberger, a senior majoring in plant sciences, spent 10 days in Ireland studying agriculture there as part of an embedded course she took last spring.
Plant sciences student seeks to improve agriculture at home and abroad
August 13, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Growing up on a dairy farm in Mifflintown, Hannah Hunsberger never thought much about agriculture beyond America. That all changed during a mission trip to Haiti with her church. "While I was in Haiti, I met with a number of local farmers, and it really opened my eyes to the world of agriculture outside of the U.S.," she said. "It made me realize that I wanted to do something in a field I’m passionate about and make a difference for farmers at home and abroad." That ambition led her to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, where she is a senior majoring in plant sciences with minors in international agriculture, agronomy and horticulture.
A smallholder farmer harvests Acacia pennata (Cha-om) shoots from her "living fence" in Cambodia.   Image: Penn State
Agricultural diversification: Empowering women in Cambodia with 'wild gardens'
June 7, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In a perfect world, everyone would have access to nutritious, affordable food. However, as Rick Bates knows, there is no such thing as utopia when it comes to food security, as millions of people around the world have limited food resources. One of those places is Cambodia in Southeast Asia, one of the world's poorest countries, where the rural poverty rate is 24 percent, and 40 percent of children younger than 5 are chronically malnourished, making them vulnerable to significant health problems.