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.

Gender Fellows support research on gender differences in agriculture

October 2, 2020

A Gender Fellows Cohort, which began last fall under the auspices of the College of Agricultural Sciences' Gender Equity through Agricultural Research and Education initiative, examines gender equity in rural sociology, soil science, plant science and entomology as part of the International Agriculture and Development dual-title graduate degree program.

Penn State turfgrass students among scholarship winners

October 1, 2020

Ten students from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences were among the scholarship winners in this year’s Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Scholars Competition.

Plant scientist gets $1 million grant to boost organic production, conservation

September 21, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences a $1 million grant for his investigation of intensifying organic grain production while balancing production and conservation goals.

Penn State alumnus hits a homerun as head groundskeeper for minor league team

September 3, 2020

Penn State alumnus Jordan Barr is living his “field of dreams” as head groundskeeper for the Burlington Bees, a Los Angeles Angels-affiliated baseball team in southeastern Iowa.

Sánchez named to federal Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers

August 27, 2020

Elsa Sánchez, professor of horticultural systems management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been appointed to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers.

Cover crop mixtures must be 'farm-tuned' to provide maximum ecosystem services

August 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State researchers, in a recent study, were surprised to learn that they could take the exact same number of seeds from the same plants, put them in agricultural fields across the Mid-Atlantic region and get profoundly different stands of cover crops a few months later. The study came to be known as “‘farm-tuning’ cover crop mixtures,” noted researcher Jason Kaye, professor of soil biogeochemistry, who added that the findings are significant because they show the need to customize cover crop mixes to achieve desired ecosystem services, depending on soil and climatic conditions. Cover crop mixtures comprised of multiple species planted in rotation between cash crops provide a suite of benefits — such as erosion reduction, weed control, and adding carbon and nitrogen to the soil. But it turns out, the expression of species in a mixture can differ greatly across locations.

Flavonoids' presence in sorghum roots may lead to frost-resistant crop

August 12, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Flavonoid compounds — produced by the roots of some sorghum plants — positively affect soil microorganisms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery is an early step in developing a frost-resistant line of the valuable crop for North American farmers. That is important because sorghum is a crop that can respond to climate change because of its high water- and nitrogen-use efficiency, according to Surinder Chopra, professor of maize genetics, and Mary Ann Bruns, professor of soil microbiology. A close relative to corn, it is the fifth most valuable cereal crop globally.

Plant scientist receives grant to improve corn defenses against fall armyworm

July 24, 2020

Surinder Chopra, professor of maize genetics in the College of Agricultural Sciences, has been awarded funding from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the improvement of corn defenses against the fall armyworm.

Antioxidants in corn line could aid human IBD protection, therapy

July 6, 2020

Flavonoids from a specific line of corn act as anti-inflammatory agents in the guts of mice with an inflammatory-bowel-disease-like condition, according to a team of researchers who said flavonoid-rich corn should be studied to determine its potential to provide a protective effect on human health.

Plant sciences student finds new ways to cultivate goodwill in her community

June 8, 2020

Rising senior Amanda Grub is using her education in the College of Education to bring community-supported agriculture to her hometown, while also building little libraries and completing a virtual internship with the University's Agriculture and Environment Center.

Plants pass on 'memory' of stress to some progeny, making them more resilient

May 5, 2020

By manipulating the expression of one gene, geneticists can induce a form of “stress memory” in plants that is inherited by some progeny, giving them the potential for more vigorous, hardy and productive growth, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery has significant implications for plant breeding.

Warming Midwest conditions may result in corn, soybean production moving north

May 4, 2020

If warming continues unabated in the Midwest, in 50 years we can expect the best conditions for corn and soybean production to have shifted from Iowa and Illinois to Minnesota and the Dakotas, according to Penn State researchers.

Seed grants jump-start 47 interdisciplinary teams to conduct COVID-19 research

April 15, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With speed and ingenuity, more than 100 researchers across Penn State are shifting their research programs to address the COVID-19 crisis, thanks to funding from a seed grant initiative led by the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. In total, the initiative awarded $2.25 million to 47 teams of researchers from three campuses, 10 colleges and more than 25 departments. “I am inspired by the nimbleness of our faculty to transition their research programs toward finding solutions,” said Andrew Read, director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. “Our infrastructure at Penn State facilitates this transition. For example, the University houses a high-security BSL-3 laboratory that enables in vitro drug testing, as well as facilities for conducting genomics, metabolomics, fermentation and cryogenic electron microscopy, among many other features.”

Organic soybean producers can be competitive using little or no tillage

April 1, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Organic soybean producers using no-till and reduced-tillage production methods that incorporate cover crops — strategies that protect soil health and water quality — can achieve similar yields at competitive costs compared to tillage-based production. That’s the conclusion of a new study by researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. These findings are significant, according to lead researcher John Wallace, assistant professor of weed science, because they may contribute to increased sustainable domestic production of organic soybeans.

'Sustainable intensification' of cropping systems good for farmers, environment

March 12, 2020

By diversifying their crop rotations to create conditions that promote beneficial, predatory insects to combat pests, farmers can reduce their reliance on insecticides to control early-season crop pests, such as caterpillars, and still produce competitive yields of corn and soybeans.

Technique used to suppress soil pathogens, pests in high tunnels can work in Pa.

March 9, 2020

A biological technique used to suppress soilborne pests and pathogens already used in warmer climates, with some modifications, will work in Pennsylvania and other more northern locations, according to a team of researchers.

Teaching excellence recognized in College of Agricultural Sciences

March 5, 2020

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has recognized nine faculty members for outstanding teaching in 2019.

Turfgrass support fund to help ensure student success in, out of the classroom

February 20, 2020

To help turfgrass students with competitions, study abroad opportunities, club activities, conferences, workshops and more that help them to access the tools they need to be successful after graduation, William F. Randolph and Diane Randolph have created the William F. Randolph Turfgrass Support Fund in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Novel way to ID disease-resistance genes in chocolate-producing trees found

December 6, 2019

An international team of plant geneticists has identified genotypes in cacao that are resistant to a major pathogen infecting one of the world’s most important cash crops. The findings point the way for plant breeders to develop trees that are tolerant of the disease.

Fourteen Penn State faculty recognized with lifetime honor

December 5, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fourteen Penn State faculty members in areas ranging from physics and engineering to entomology and plant science have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. A lifetime honor bestowed upon members by their peers, a total of 443 individuals are being recognized for their extraordinary achievements in advancing science. “At Penn State we believe in the power of brilliant minds creating new possibilities through exploration, collaboration and innovation,” said Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost. “I commend our 14 scholars receiving this high honor and thank them for their continued dedication to the University’s research enterprise.”

Penn State research projects awarded USDA organic agriculture grants

November 15, 2019

Three organic-agriculture projects led by faculty members in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The funding, totaling more than $1.3 million, was awarded through USDA-NIFA's Organic Transitions Program.

Penn State plant scientist honored with USDA national teaching award

November 14, 2019

Dennis Decoteau, professor of horticulture and plant ecosystem health in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, is among four public university faculty honored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities with national teaching awards recognizing excellence in agricultural sciences teaching and student engagement.

Choosing most cost-effective practices for sites could save in bay cleanup

November 7, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Using site-specific watershed data to determine the most cost-effective agricultural best management practices — rather than requiring all the recommended practices be implemented across the entire watershed — could make staying below the Chesapeake Bay’s acceptable pollution load considerably less expensive. That’s the conclusion of a novel, five-year study conducted by an interdisciplinary team of Penn State and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers, who modeled and compared runoff and pollution from Spring Creek watershed in central Pennsylvania under two scenarios: using all of the best management practices ( BMPs) identified for a watershed and a customized, most cost-effective set of BMPs tailored for Spring Creek watershed.

Embracing sustainable practices would help some winery tasting rooms stand out

October 21, 2019

Wineries in the mid-Atlantic region should consider recycling and encouraging their customers to bring bottles to their tasting rooms for refilling to distinguish their businesses from so many others, according to a team of wine-marketing researchers who surveyed consumers.