Latest News

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

December 14, 2010

The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) and the Foundation for Safer Athletic Fields for Everyone (SAFE) have announced the winners of the 2010 SAFE Scholarships. Five Penn State students have been awarded scholarships and will be recognized at the STMA Awards Banquet on January 14, 2011.

October 8, 2010

Reminiscent of Crocodile Dundee, only wielding a much smaller knife, Jeff Graybill was fearless when cutting open a sugar beet last Friday at Merv Lapp’s farm.

September 16, 2010

It's not unusual for someone to love puppies, chocolate or summer. Nor is it strange for someone to love listening to the Beatles, receiving presents or going to the beach. However, it is a bit peculiar for someone to love what Erick Landis does. He fell head over heels for ... turf.

September 10, 2010

When Penn State weed scientist David Mortensen told members of the U.S. House Oversight Committee this summer that the government should restrict the use of herbicide-tolerant crops and impose a tax on biotech seeds to fund research and educational programs for farmers, it caused quite a stir.

July 26, 2010

Folks with questions about managing their crops or weeds can get answers at the Crops, Soils and Conservation Tent at Penn State's Ag Progress Days, which will take place from August 17 to 19. Visitors to the crops and soils area can also take the "Weed ID" quiz and/or bring weeds with them for the experts to identify.