A new Penn State research project will allow growers to improve their pest control and increase grain crop production while reducing pesticide use.
To the naked eye, you would think nothing was out of the ordinary in Elam Beiler’s orchard. But look closer and you’ll see a tree that has been stripped of any life, withering, with no leaves and seemingly no hope.
A series of April frosts and freezes means consumers will find fewer Pennsylvania apples and peaches this summer, and grapes and cherries from the Lake Erie region could be scarce.
A Penn State researcher has been chosen to receive a grant through the Grand Challenges Explorations program, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. David Hughes, assistant professor of entomology and biology, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled "Taking Out the Bodyguards: A Novel Solution to Ag Disease."
Grower Chester Sceiford estimates that this spring he's lost 80 to 90 percent of his cherry crop plus the grapes in low-lying areas of his vineyard. He considers himself fortunate. "There are vineyards that were totally frozen," said Sceiford, of Sceiford Quality Fruit of North East Township.
Orchard crops such as fruits and nuts are being heavily impacted by honey bee shortages for pollination, so growers are relying more and more on wild bees and other native pollinators to ensure an abundant harvest.
Mention barcodes and it often brings to mind the sales tags and scanners found in supermarkets and other stores. But Agricultural Research Service scientists are using “DNA barcodes” in their search for ways to control and monitor insects that pose the greatest threats to crops as diverse as wheat, barley, and potatoes.
A parasite that fights the zombie-ant fungus has yielded some of its secrets to an international research team led by David Hughes of Penn State University.
Rick Turcotte, an entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service, said the chemical used to protect Pennsylvania’s trees from the invasive and highly damaging emerald ash borer has a fitting name.
Herbicide-resistant superweeds threaten to overgrow U.S. fields, so agriculture companies have genetically engineered a new generation of plants to withstand heavy doses of multiple, extra-toxic weed-killing chemicals.
Mark Smallwood first learned about compost as a child while preparing a garden for growing onions. "My earliest memories are in the garden with my grandmother, making compost," said Smallwood, executive director for the Rodale Institute in Maxatawny Township.
Anyone who spends time in the outdoors is probably aware of the dangers ticks pose to pets and people. Despite some anecdotal evidence that there could be a boom in the tick population in 2012, experts say it’s really too soon to tell.
To Jody Herr, it was a telltale sign that one of his tomato fields had been poisoned by 2,4-D, the powerful herbicide that was an ingredient in Agent Orange, the Vietnam War defoliant.
Alumni Hall at Penn State University’s campus was crowded with booths and students on April 12 for the University’s Ag Day.
It's time to begin a lookout for two insect pests that make an appearance each year in the area: gypsy moths and mosquitoes.
Leah Tyrrell wants to make something clear: She does not wear ladybug sweatshirts. She does not carry her belongings in ladybug bags, shelter from the rain beneath a ladybug-shaped umbrella, or take notes with pens decorated with little ladybugs.
Starbucks Corp said on its blog on Thursday that it will stop using a natural, government-approved coloring made from crushed beetles in its strawberry flavoring by late June, bowing to pressure from some vegetarian customers.
Buy local means many things to many people. It is the heirloom tomato grown on a Perry County farm, sliced and paired with locally made buffalo mozzarella cheese on a caprese salad. It is the coffee, roasted by hand and brewed from bean to cup at the corner coffee shop. Or the neighbors chipping in to purchase organic grass-fed beef from a nearby farm.
The growing season began early this year in Pennsylvania, so that means that many of us have already been hard at work preparing yards and gardens for the impending warmer weather.
Dealing with herbicide resistant crops is a way of life for Richard Wilkins of Greenwood, Del. The first herbicide resistant weed discovery was made in 2000 on a farm a few miles from his. Wilkins, along with Penn State Extension weed specialist Bill Curran, discussed the challenges and realities of weed herbicide resistance Monday with members of the North American Agricultural Journalists.