Grants will aid College of Ag Sciences faculty in commercializing research

July 15, 2021

Three research projects that are demonstrating commercial promise — and have potential to improve lives — have received grants through a Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences program designed to spur innovation.

Sorghum, a close relative of corn, tested for disease resistance on PA farms

June 17, 2021

With sorghum poised to become an important crop grown by Pennsylvania farmers, Penn State researchers, in a new study, tested more than 150 germplasm lines of the plant for resistance to a fungus likely to hamper its production.

Discovery of flowering gene in cacao may lead to accelerated breeding strategies

May 17, 2021

For the first time, a gene that controls flowering in cacao has been identified, a discovery that may help accelerate breeding efforts aimed at improving the disease-ridden plant, Penn State researchers suggested in a new study.

Junior grows seeds of opportunity as student in College of Ag Sciences

May 13, 2021

Kyle Hartmann, a plant sciences major in the College of Agricultural Sciences, found new opportunities at Penn State which started after he joined the Accomplish Program. The peer mentor program helps students moving from other campuses or universities to find resources to successfully acclimate to University Park, the college and the community.

Staph infection turf study yields insight in coronavirus survivability on fields

May 11, 2021

When Andrew McNitt and colleagues were conducting a study of the survivability of bacteria that cause staph infections on synthetic and natural turf football fields in 2008-09, no one had heard of COVID-19, of course. So, the question of whether the novel coronavirus that triggered the global pandemic could persist on playing surfaces and infect players was unimaginable.

Mutant corn gene boosts sugar in seeds, leaves, may lead to breeding better crop

May 3, 2021

An abnormal build up of carbohydrates — sugars and starches — in the kernels and leaves of a mutant line of corn can be traced to one misregulated gene, and that discovery offers clues about how the plant deals with stress.

Climate-smart ag strategies may cut nitrous oxide emissions from corn production

April 21, 2021

Using dairy manure and legume cover crops in crop rotations can reduce the need for inputs of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer for corn, thereby protecting water quality, but these practices also can contribute to emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. That’s the conclusion of Penn State researchers, who measured nitrous oxide emissions from the corn phases of two crop rotations.

Golf course turfgrass species 'remembers' if it was mowed, develops differently

April 19, 2021

Poa annua, or annual bluegrass, a turfgrass species commonly found on golf course putting greens around the world, possesses transgenerational memory, “remembering” whether its parent was mowed or not mowed, according to a new study by Penn State researchers.

Grant aimed at developing corn cultivars that grow deeper, stronger roots

March 1, 2021

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study a novel root trait that may lead to corn cultivars with enhanced drought tolerance and carbon sequestration through the growth of roots able to probe deeper by punching through hard, compacted soils.

A Look at Landscape Contracting with Dr. Hoffman

February 22, 2021

Dr. Margaret Hoffman, Assistant Professor of the Landscape Contracting, talks about the opportunities for students within the major.

From Italy to Penn State, Dr. Centinari’s research on sustainable grape production

February 8, 2021

Michela Centinari approaches her research with the end goal of improving the quality and production of wine grapes in Pennsylvania.

Newly discovered trait helps plants grow deeper roots in dry, compacted soils

February 1, 2021

A previously unknown root trait allows some cereal plants to grow deeper roots capable of punching through dry, hard, compacted soils, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest that harnessing the inherited characteristic could lead to crops better able to deal with a changing climate.

Dr. Liana Burghardt on Penn State, Diversifying Research, and Elevating Academia

January 26, 2021

Dr. Liana Burghardt joined the Department of Plant Science on February 1, 2020, transitioning from a Postdoctoral Scholar position in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at the University of Minnesota.

The Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program at Penn State Awards 8 students with $1000 Scholarships

December 3, 2020

The Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program at Penn State announces the name of its Fall 2020 scholarship recipients for the Penncross Bentgrass Growers Association and Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council Scholarship Awards.

Turfgrass program alumnus retires after legendary career

November 30, 2020

UNIV. PARK, Pa. — During Frank Dobie's more than five decades as a golf course superintendent, making difficult decisions was “par for the course.” But one of his earliest decisions — to enroll in Penn State’s Golf Course Turfgrass Management program — arguably was his easiest and most important.

Grafting with epigenetically-modified rootstock yields surprise

October 22, 2020

Novel grafted plants — consisting of rootstock epigenetically modified to “believe” it has been under stress — joined to an unmodified scion, or above-ground shoot, give rise to progeny that are more vigorous, productive and resilient than the parental plants.

Penn State Extension’s Tree Fruit Production Guide

October 20, 2020

Penn State Extension’s Tree Fruit Production Guide Wins National Award

Precise nitrogen recommendations for corn to help farmers

October 19, 2020

Researchers calibrated the models to predict unfertilized corn yield

More precise nitrogen recommendations for corn to help farmers, cut pollution

October 15, 2020

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have developed an important component of a new system that corn growers can use to adjust nitrogen fertilizer applications based on site-specific measurements of cover crops and soil organic matter.

Gender Fellows support research on gender differences in agriculture

October 2, 2020

A Gender Fellows Cohort, which began last fall under the auspices of the College of Agricultural Sciences' Gender Equity through Agricultural Research and Education initiative, examines gender equity in rural sociology, soil science, plant science and entomology as part of the International Agriculture and Development dual-title graduate degree program.

Penn State turfgrass students among scholarship winners

October 1, 2020

Ten students from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences were among the scholarship winners in this year’s Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Scholars Competition.

Plant scientist gets $1 million grant to boost organic production, conservation

September 21, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences a $1 million grant for his investigation of intensifying organic grain production while balancing production and conservation goals.

Penn State alumnus hits a homerun as head groundskeeper for minor league team

September 3, 2020

Penn State alumnus Jordan Barr is living his “field of dreams” as head groundskeeper for the Burlington Bees, a Los Angeles Angels-affiliated baseball team in southeastern Iowa.

Sánchez named to federal Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers

August 27, 2020

Elsa Sánchez, professor of horticultural systems management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been appointed to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers.

Cover crop mixtures must be 'farm-tuned' to provide maximum ecosystem services

August 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State researchers, in a recent study, were surprised to learn that they could take the exact same number of seeds from the same plants, put them in agricultural fields across the Mid-Atlantic region and get profoundly different stands of cover crops a few months later. The study came to be known as “‘farm-tuning’ cover crop mixtures,” noted researcher Jason Kaye, professor of soil biogeochemistry, who added that the findings are significant because they show the need to customize cover crop mixes to achieve desired ecosystem services, depending on soil and climatic conditions. Cover crop mixtures comprised of multiple species planted in rotation between cash crops provide a suite of benefits — such as erosion reduction, weed control, and adding carbon and nitrogen to the soil. But it turns out, the expression of species in a mixture can differ greatly across locations.

Flavonoids' presence in sorghum roots may lead to frost-resistant crop

August 12, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Flavonoid compounds — produced by the roots of some sorghum plants — positively affect soil microorganisms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery is an early step in developing a frost-resistant line of the valuable crop for North American farmers. That is important because sorghum is a crop that can respond to climate change because of its high water- and nitrogen-use efficiency, according to Surinder Chopra, professor of maize genetics, and Mary Ann Bruns, professor of soil microbiology. A close relative to corn, it is the fifth most valuable cereal crop globally.

Plant scientist receives grant to improve corn defenses against fall armyworm

July 24, 2020

Surinder Chopra, professor of maize genetics in the College of Agricultural Sciences, has been awarded funding from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the improvement of corn defenses against the fall armyworm.

Antioxidants in corn line could aid human IBD protection, therapy

July 6, 2020

Flavonoids from a specific line of corn act as anti-inflammatory agents in the guts of mice with an inflammatory-bowel-disease-like condition, according to a team of researchers who said flavonoid-rich corn should be studied to determine its potential to provide a protective effect on human health.

Plant sciences student finds new ways to cultivate goodwill in her community

June 8, 2020

Rising senior Amanda Grub is using her education in the College of Education to bring community-supported agriculture to her hometown, while also building little libraries and completing a virtual internship with the University's Agriculture and Environment Center.

Plants pass on 'memory' of stress to some progeny, making them more resilient

May 5, 2020

By manipulating the expression of one gene, geneticists can induce a form of “stress memory” in plants that is inherited by some progeny, giving them the potential for more vigorous, hardy and productive growth, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery has significant implications for plant breeding.