Berks professor Mike Fidanza edits book on sustainable turfgrass management

February 1, 2023

Mike Fidanza, professor of plant and soil sciences at Penn State Berks and former editor-in-chief of the International Turfgrass Society Research Journal, served as the editor of “Achieving Sustainable Turfgrass Management” — a new textbook centered on implementing eco-friendly initiatives in maintaining turfgrass.  

Pennsylvania Grape and Wine Industry Winter Conference slated for March 1-2

January 31, 2023

Wine producers and other stakeholders in Pennsylvania’s grape and wine industry will gather at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College from March 1-2 for the annual Pennsylvania Grape and Wine Industry Conference, hosted by the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Program and Penn State Extension.

Two College of Ag Sciences faculty among highly cited researchers in 2022

January 12, 2023

Andrew Patterson and Jonathan Lynch in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences were recognized recently as highly cited researchers by the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Group.

Student Farm offers engagement opportunities across campus

January 11, 2023

As a new growing season approaches, the Dr. Keiko Miwa Ross Student Farm prepares for another year of supporting the campus food system.

Some no-till crop rotations on dairy farms could benefit from strategic tillage

December 22, 2022

Many no-till growers are reluctant to implement any soil disturbance due to concerns about negative impacts on soil health. However, a new study by a team of Penn State researchers suggests that plowing fields once after five years in a crop rotation that includes coverage with cover crops and perennials can maintain soil health and provide other benefits.

Penn State researchers battle food insecurity with native plants cookbook

December 14, 2022

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have created a cookbook with information about wild food plants, including their nutritional values and recipes for how to cook with them, as a way to address food insecurity.

Corn-colonizing fungus may help the crop repel disease, grow larger

December 14, 2022

A fungus that can colonize, or grow within, corn plants doesn’t just leave the plant unharmed — it also can help the plant stave off harmful bugs and other fungi, according to a new study by Penn State researchers.

Study shows ‘steep, cheap and deep’ roots help corn plants deal with drought

December 7, 2022

Rarely in nature does less turn out to be more. But that’s the case when it comes to the roots of corn dealing with drought conditions, according to a Penn State-led international team of researchers who discovered evidence of the benefits of a “parsimonious” root phenotype in a new study.

College of Ag Sciences minority alumni return to campus, discuss their journeys

December 5, 2022

Four graduates of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences recently returned to campus to discuss success in class to success in life as guest speakers on a minority alumni panel, hosted by the college’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.  

Alumnus Hunter Swisher named Forbes '30 under 30' for social impact

December 5, 2022

Penn State alumnus Hunter Swisher, founder and CEO of Phospholutions, was named a 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 in the social impact category. The category is described as those who are "leveraging business smarts to save the world."

2020-22 Teaching and Learning with Technology Faculty Fellows reflect on work

December 2, 2022

Eight Penn State instructors from two campuses and six colleges worked in teams with Teaching and Learning with Technology over the past two years as part of the 2020-22 TLT Faculty Fellows program.

Internships earn awards for College of Agricultural Sciences students

December 2, 2022

Twelve Penn State students have been selected as College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society 2022 Internship Award winners. The award, which includes a $1,000 stipend, was established to encourage students to participate in a credit or noncredit educational internship program related to their field of study.

New 'Life From All Angles' video features Sally Mackenzie’s epigenetics research

November 22, 2022

The newest episode of "Life From All Angles," a YouTube series produced by the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, highlights the breakthroughs made by Penn State Plant Institute Director Sally Mackenzie in understanding epigenetics and manipulating plants to be more productive.

Plant Science Students Win Awards

November 18, 2022

Plant science students win awards at the 2022 Tri-Society meeting

Faculty in College of Ag Sciences recognized for research achievements

November 8, 2022

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences lauded outstanding accomplishments in research during the college’s inaugural Research Awards Ceremony, held Oct. 25 at the Hintz Family Alumni Center on the University Park campus.

Grapevines may only need help to survive heavy spotted lanternfly infestations

October 20, 2022

While heavy infestations of spotted lanternfly on grapevines — especially in successive years — can result in their demise, most vines may be able to survive lighter infestations with few ill effects, according to a study by Penn State researchers.

Bull steps down at Microbiome Center, looks forward to future innovation

October 3, 2022

After more than five years at the helm of Penn State’s Microbiome Center, founding director Carolee Bull has stepped down. Though she will continue serving as department head of plant pathology and environmental microbiology and as a professor of plant pathology and systematic bacteriology at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Bull has handed off leadership of the Microbiome Center to recent Penn State hire Seth Bordentstein.

Researchers get USDA-NIFA grant to study corn-soil fungi interactions, symbiosis

September 23, 2022

A team of Penn State plant scientists has received a grant of nearly $1.25 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the interactions between corn and soil fungi, with the aim of boosting crop resilience and production.

Penn State awarded grant to help dairy farmers develop climate-smart commodities

September 19, 2022

Funding of up to $25 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will support a new Penn State-led collaboration with dairy industry associations and producers to develop and implement climate-smart practices on Pennsylvania dairy farms. The project is aimed at generating climate commodities that add value to dairy products along the supply chain and leveraging agriculture’s potential to provide solutions to climate change.

Plant scientist and former department head Rich Marini retires after long career

August 26, 2022

Professor of Horticulture Richard Marini, who led Penn State’s Horticulture Department as it evolved to become the Department of Plant Science, retired July 1 after a four-decade career that left a huge mark on the fruit tree industry.

Flavonoids from sorghum plants kill fall armyworm pest on corn; may protect crop

August 23, 2022

Flavonoids produced by sorghum leaves have shown promising results in combating fall armyworm larvae. When sprayed on the leaves of corn, sorghum flavonoids stunt the growth of fall armyworm and often kill the pest, Penn State researchers report in a new study.

Researchers get USDA-NIFA grant to study corn plant nutrient-use efficiency

August 18, 2022

A research team led by a Penn State plant scientist has received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the functions of key plant genes responsible for regulating the acquisition and use of nitrogen and phosphorus in corn hybrids.

Inaugural tree climbing school in Harrisburg reduces barriers to career entry

August 18, 2022

To help bolster the workforce for an industry in need of employees and provide a career path for residents of the state’s capital city, Penn State Extension recently offered a course, titled “Tree Climbing School,” in Harrisburg for the first time.

Alumnus-founded startup Phospholutions announces $5.3M investment

August 18, 2022

Penn State alumnus-founded startup Phospholutions, a leader in sustainable fertilizer technology, recently announced additional investment from leading global agricultural companies totaling $5.3M. This funding will support the commercialization of their RhizoSorb technology in the U.S. row crop market.

Plant molecular geneticists discover, and begin to crack, the epigenetic code

August 16, 2022

When plants sense environmental challenges such as drought or extended periods of extreme temperatures, they instinctively reprogram their genetic material to survive and even thrive. The chemical code that triggers those changes can be deciphered and then duplicated to breed more vigorous, productive and resilient crops. That’s the conclusion of a team of Penn State molecular plant geneticists that conducted the first-ever study of those reprogramming effects and discovered that “epigenetic reprogramming” code, which results in the expressing and over expressing of some genes and the silencing of others.

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.