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.

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.