An early spring warm spell last March followed by a "normal" April cold snap is responsible for the lack of apples and other tree fruit in the Northern Tier this year, according to growers and experts.
For those weary of hearing about infected mosquitoes, beetles killing elm trees and blight on tomatoes, hold on – a new plague has surfaced. The spotted wing drosophila, often called a vinegar fly, is wiping out whole crops of soft fruits – blackberries, black raspberries, blueberries, sweet and tart cherries and strawberries.
Although sustainable ag proponents didn’t exactly fill a bus the Thursday afternoon of Penn State’s annual Ag Progress Days, the half-dozen farm folks who did tour the university’s dairy cropping and organic pest management plots brought a truckload of questions along to the field.
New training modules are now available to help directors and staff in childcare centers better manage pests in their facilities. The development of these modules was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Children’s Health Protection.
Those conspicuous nests covering tree limbs across the region are home to a familiar pest. Inside their silk tents, fall webworm caterpillars are busy doing what they do best — chomping away at leaves and the tips of tree branches.
The itch of a mosquito bite is one of the common nuisances of summer. But with mosquito populations seemingly exploding this year -- and cases of mosquito-borne West Nile virus reaching unprecedented numbers nationally -- it's a good idea to take a few simple precautions to reduce the chances of being bitten, says an urban entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Ten years ago, Centre County might just be receiving notification of the first mosquito testing positive for West Nile Virus. This year, however, the county already has 34 positive mosquito samples from various municipalities, including State College and College, Ferguson, Gregg, Penn, Spring, Walker and Worth townships.
Biocontrols were the “young, exciting science” on display along with showy petunias, tall begonias and succulent portulacas at the horticulture trial gardens field day July 26 at Penn State’s Southeast Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Manheim, Pa.
As a beginning farmer, Sue Pengelly of Misty Knoll Farm in Royersford, Pa., is eager to learn which tools work best for her. “The only problem I have related to tools is that I sometimes buy something based on a friend’s or salesperson’s recommendation, or because of an article I read about it, and later I find out that it doesn’t perform as advertised,” Pengelly said.
When it opens Aug. 14 for its 44th year, Penn State's Ag Progress Days will once again show the many faces of agriculture, bringing together people with a wide range of perspectives on the production of food, fuel and fiber.
If you want proof for how the emerald ash borer can leap across the landscape, check out the latest map from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The small insect, an Asian invasive that was first detected in Michigan in 2002, kills ash trees.
This comprehensive bed bug educational video discusses history of bed bugs, bed bug biology, monitoring and inspecting methods, how to prepare and conduct bed bug treatments.
Honey bees exposed to agrochemicals used on farms may develop learning impairments that prevent them from being able to forage or even find their way back to the hive, say researchers at Penn State’s College of Ag Sciences.
Michael Flinchbaugh has found brown marmorated stink bugs in the orchard at Flinchbaugh's Orchard & Farm Market in Hellam Township this summer. "I think the population is starting to increase a little bit now," said Flinchbaugh, a co-owner of the farm.
Dan Harner’s family has owned Harner Farm since 1945. This year’s apple crop is the worst he has ever seen. An unseasonably warm spring caused apple trees to bloom three weeks early. Then a late-March frost zapped many of the blossoms, said Rich Marini, a Penn State professor and head of the university’s horticulture department.
While a drought watch persists in 15 counties in Western Pennsylvania, other parts of the country continue to wither from heat and drought. The Department of Agriculture has designated just over half of all counties in the country as disaster areas this year, mainly due to drought, according to a statement released on Tuesday by the White House.
Researchers believe they have identified where brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) gathers in natural landscapes during winter, and their findings could help farmers manage this invasive insect.
The Philadelphia School and Community IPM Partnership (PSCIP) is a collaborative project designed to radically reform pest management in underserved neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia by reducing both pest infestations and also the use of toxic pesticides. In this issue: Reducing Pest Problems in Latino Communities; Uninvited Guests: Raccoons; Read the Label First; PSCIP offers Healthy Homes, Other Training; Reducing Asthma Disparities.
This year's drought has had varying effects on crops in different parts of the state, according to a crop specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Greg Roth, professor of agronomy and extension grain crops specialist, said that the drought is serious, but not yet the worst farmers have seen, and there is still hope for this year's crop.
In this video clip, Maryann Frazier talks about the decline of pollinators and the prime suspects behind it. Some of these suspects include the use of pesticides, on both small and large scales, that destroy food sources for bees; agribusiness practices such as monocropping, in which the same single crop is planted year after year, eliminating the plant diversity pollinators need; stress caused by transporting the bees across country for commercial pollination needs; and threats such as nosema disease, viruses and mites.