Penn State working with Philadelphians on urban ag with high tunnels
December 13, 2011
High tunnels offer an inexpensive way to extend the production season for vegetables and small fruits. They also might help eradicate a "food desert" in the southeast corner of the Keystone State, if a collaboration between Penn State Extension and community partners in Philadelphia is successful.
Student Stories: Steelers fan/turfgrass student interns with Eagles
November 29, 2011
Pittsburgh Steelers fan George Peters scored the internship of a lifetime -- in enemy territory. The turfgrass science major in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences interned at Lincoln Financial Field with the Philadelphia Eagles grounds crew. Peters, from Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa., has been interested in sports-turf management since high school and relished the opportunity to get hands-on experience.
Pesticide-resistant weeds closing in on Pennsylvania
November 22, 2011
The challenge of weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate -- the active ingredient in Round-Up herbicide -- has become an evolving national threat, with new challenges emerging and spreading annually. At least three glyphosate-resistant species on the horizon for Pennsylvania require new strategies to combat them, according to a specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Penn State Extension weed scientist Dwight Lingenfelter said several resistant species currently are approaching Pennsylvania. These weeds were controlled routinely over the years with glyphosate-based herbicide programs, but now the effectiveness of those programs is dwindling.
Penn State receives $2.3 million organic-agriculture research grant
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.
Plant ecologist honored by Ecological Society of America
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.
Penn State experts contribute to new online resource for apple growers
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.
Listeriosis Outbreak Linked to Cantaloupes Rare but Not Surprising
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.
Penn State Agricultural Sciences Offers Open House for High School Seniors
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.
Fruit and Vegetables Submerged by Flood Water are Not Safe to Eat
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.
Gardens at Governor's Residence Certified
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."
Rural road maintenance may accidentally push spread of invasive plants
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."
Corn geneticist gets $1.2 million grant from NSF for gene research
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.
Gardeners can help Keep Pollinators Healthy
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.
Trees, Shrubs, Flowers Allow Gardeners to 'Paint' a Landscape
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.
New Academic Unit Structure Proposed for the College
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).
Dutch Elm Disease Forces Removal of 16 More Campus Trees
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.
Garden of Delights: The Arboretum of Penn State
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.
Cover-crop seeder pulls triple duty for small farms
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.
Penn State biofuels researchers get large grants from USDA
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.
Four Penn State water-quality projects honored by USDA
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.
PSU warns of Marcellus Shale's effect on wildlife
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.
New endowment to enhance Penn State turfgrass programs
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.
New edition of agronomy guide should appeal to wider audience
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.
Ag Sciences faculty members, grad student receive national honors
February 15, 2011
Four faculty members in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences - David Mortensen, William Curran, Sjoerd Duiker and Jeffrey Hyde - and graduate student Matthew Ryan were honored Feb. 7 by the Weed Science Society of America for their outstanding contributions to the field of weed science.
Student Stories: Turf grad overseeing New York soccer venue
February 9, 2011
Dan Shemesh's earliest and fondest memories involve sports. So it was only natural that he chose a career related to fields where they are played. Recently named director of grounds for Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls at only 29, the 2003 Penn State graduate in Turfgrass Management already has left his footprint on the fields of many respected professional stadiums.
Heinz Endowments awards Marcellus Shale research grant to Penn State
February 3, 2011
The Heinz Endowments recently awarded a team of Penn State researchers a $412,000, three-year, grant to identify and mitigate the effects of Marcellus Shale natural gas exploration and development on the forest ecosystem. The interdisciplinary research team, led by Margaret Brittingham, professor of wildlife resources, and Patrick Drohan, assistant professor of pedology, both faculty members in the College of Agricultural Sciences, also will develop land management practices and a monitoring program to reduce the Marcellus disturbance footprint.
Bioenergy researcher gets $1 million grant to explore sorghum disease
January 25, 2011
A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has been awarded a $1 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture for his investigation of anthracnose disease in sorghum.
Turfgrass Student Receives Internship Award
January 21, 2011
Derek Pruyne, a Penn State student majoring in Turfgrass Science, has been selected as a College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society Internship Award winner. Pruyne is the son of Thomas and Lori Pruyne of Athens, PA.
Penn State Turfgrass Junior Wins Golf Course Builder's Association Scholarship
January 20, 2011
Mr. Aiden Graven a junior in Penn State's Turfgrass Science Major was recently awarded the Golf Course Builders Association of America Foundation Award.