Harbaugh Faculty Scholars named in College of Agricultural Sciences

July 7, 2022

Two faculty members in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have received funding to support the development of innovative curricula under the college’s Harbaugh Faculty Scholars program. Justine Lindemann, assistant professor of community development and resilience, and Ricky Bates, professor of horticulture, received awards under the program, which was created by a gift from Penn State alumnus Earl Harbaugh and his wife, Kay.  

Internet-based precision irrigation system shows promise for fresh-market tomato

May 17, 2022

An “internet of things” — or IoT — system monitoring real-time data from soil-based sensors to activate an automated precision irrigation setup can conserve water and boost crop production, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

New plant science team gets grants from USDA-NIFA for research on soil microbes

April 28, 2022

An assistant professor in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has received $950,000 in two competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead a team studying interactions between plants and rhizobial soil bacteria, with the long-term goal of boosting forage and crop production while reducing environmental impacts of fertilizer use.

Adding high-flavonoid corn to broiler chickens’ diet may cut intestinal disease

April 21, 2022

The inclusion of a high-flavonoid corn, developed by a Penn State maize geneticist, in the diet of broiler chickens reduced the incidence and severity of a fatal intestinal disorder known as necrotic enteritis.

Getting to the root of corn domestication; knowledge may help plant breeders

April 18, 2022

A unique confluence of archeology, molecular genetics and serendipity guided a collaboration of Mexican and Penn State researchers to a deeper understanding of how modern corn was domesticated from teosinte, a perennial grass native to Mexico and Central America, more than 5,000 years ago.

Plant scientist gets grant to study how climate change will affect forage crops

April 14, 2022

A Penn State plant scientist has received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead a team studying how changes in temperature associated with climate change affect the establishment, persistence and performance of perennial forage crops and their associated weedy plant communities in the U.S. Northeast.  

Gamma Sigma Delta lauds outstanding College of Ag Sciences faculty, students

April 5, 2022

The Penn State chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the agricultural honor society, recognized Penn State faculty and students during its annual meeting, which was held March 31.

Accomplished professor of horticulture, extension tree-fruit specialist retires

April 1, 2022

For almost 40 years, Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture and extension tree-fruit specialist in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has made impactful contributions. He is passing the mantle to a new generation of scientists and extension educators as he embarks on the next chapter of his life — retirement.

Penn State's 'Living Filter' to be the focus of wastewater reuse conference

March 28, 2022

More than a half-century of research on the use of treated wastewater for irrigation and groundwater recharge will be the focus of a three-day conference hosted by Penn State April 5-7 at the Wyndham Garden hotel in Boalsburg. The conference will highlight Penn State's "Living Filter," a year-round spray irrigation system that recycles the University's treated effluent.

Penn State Global announces 2021-22 awards for engagement

March 25, 2022

Penn State Global has announced the 2021-22 recipients of its annual awards that recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals and academic programs at Penn State who have helped to advance the University’s global engagement goals.

Faculty in College of Agricultural Sciences lauded for excellence in teaching

March 16, 2022

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has recognized five faculty members for outstanding teaching in 2021.

College of Ag Sciences alumna, student recipients of Musser Award of Excellence

March 14, 2022

The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation has selected two recipients of its 2022 Musser Award of Excellence. Devon Carroll, a graduate of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, and Travis Russell, a doctoral candidate in the college, are co-honorees.

Golf Course Turfgrass Management alumnus Frank Dobie honored by USGA

February 4, 2022

The U.S. Golf Association recently bestowed its Green Section Award on Penn State alumnus David Franklin “Frank” Dobie, who graduated from the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Golf Course Turfgrass Management Certificate Program in 1960.

Dairy farmers can adapt to climate change

January 5, 2022

Dairy farmers in the Northeast — facing a warming climate that exacerbates nutrient pollution but lengthens the growing season — can reduce the environmental impact of their operations and maximize revenues by double cropping and injecting manure into the soil, rather than broadcasting it.

Cannabis may contain heavy metals and affect consumer health, study finds

December 14, 2021

A new meta-analysis, led by researchers at Penn State, examines the ability of cannabis plants to absorb heavy metals and discusses the resulting health impacts on consumers.

Cover crops make vineyards more sustainable; strategy can be marketing tool

December 2, 2021

Growing cover crops under grapevines in vineyards can reduce erosion, enhance soil health, reduce herbicide use and improve water quality, according to a team of Penn State researchers, who suggest that growers can promote improved sustainability in production as part of a marketing strategy that may result in consumers being willing to pay more for wine.

Plant science professor remembered for unwavering dedication to student success

November 16, 2021

Dan Stearns, J. Franklin Styer Professor Emeritus, who served as the inaugural professor and program coordinator of the landscape contracting program in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, is being remembered as an extraordinary educator and mentor whose care for and commitment to students — and the landscape contracting industry — was unparalleled.

Grant to fund research on biological approach to manage soil pathogens and pests

October 19, 2021

In an effort to boost the profitability and sustainability of organic specialty crop production systems, a team of scientists is improving and optimizing anaerobic soil disinfestation as a management approach to control soilborne pests and pathogens and promote soil health.

Annual Penn State Horticulture Show slated for Oct. 23-24 at University Park

October 11, 2021

The Penn State Horticulture Show, a must-do fall activity for many families, will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 23 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at Penn State’s University Park campus.

Small but mighty: Microgreens go from trendy vegetables to functional food

September 28, 2021

Starting decades ago as fashionable, high-value gourmet greens, today microgreens have gained popularity among consumers for their nutritional profile and high content of antioxidant compounds. Now, a new study suggests that the tiny plants have the potential to help provide global nutrition security.

Eberly’s 2022 Lab Bench to Commercialization grant recipients announced

September 13, 2021

The Penn State Eberly College of Science has chosen faculty members Joyce Jose and Sally Mackenzie to receive its 2022 Lab Bench to Commercialization grants. This competitive program provides funding for researchers in the college, enabling them to enhance the commercial potential of ongoing Penn State research and prepare them to translate their Penn State-owned intellectual property to the marketplace.

After 41-year Penn State career, plant science professor Kathleen Brown retires

September 2, 2021

Kathleen Brown, professor of plant stress biology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, recently retired after a 41-year career during which she helped break new ground in root biology, had a profound effect on many students and played an important role in the Department of Plant Science.

No-till production farmers can cut herbicide use, control weeds, protect profits

August 23, 2021

Farmers using no-till production — in which soil never or rarely is plowed or disturbed — can reduce herbicide use and still maintain crop yields by implementing integrated weed-management methods, according to a new study conducted by Penn State researchers.

Study of structural variants in cacao genomes yields clues about plant diversity

August 16, 2021

An exhaustive and painstaking comparison of the genomes of multiple strains of the cacao tree by a team of researchers has provided insights into the role genomic structural variants play in the regulation of gene expression and chromosome evolution, giving rise to the differences within populations of the plant.

Nitrous oxide emissions, coming from legume cover crops, manure, can be reduced

August 2, 2021

The application of manure after the growth and demise of legume cover crops in rotations is a recipe to increase nitrous oxide releases during ensuing corn growth, according to a team of Penn State researchers who conducted a new study. They suggest that innovative management strategies are needed to reduce these emissions.

Researchers identify a gene that regulates the angle of root growth in corn

July 28, 2021

The discovery of a gene that regulates the angle of root growth in corn is a new tool to enable the breeding of deeper-rooting crops with enhanced ability to take up nitrogen, according to an international team of researchers, led by Penn State.

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.