Kathy Demchak

Senior Extension Associate

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    About Me

    Responsibilities and Interests:

    My responsibilities are to conduct applied research to help the berry growers of Pennsylvania, and provide them with up-to-date information on production technologies through presentations, articles, and publications. I'm interested in technologies that improve the sustainability of berry production with the overall goal of reducing negative environmental impacts of production while maximizing crop productivity.

    Current Projects:

    Following the arrival in Pennsylvania of a new devastating insect pest, spotted wing drosophila, my research has largely focused on better understanding this insect's behavior and evaluating various means of management. Other ongoing research projects include evaluations of new cultivars and types of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries; development of recommendations for growing day-neutral (everbearing) strawberries; evaluation of season extension technologies (high tunnels and low tunnels); and evaluation of water treatments that are intended to improve the food safety of strawberries. I serve as coordinator of the "Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide", a 6-state publication for commercial growers.

    Background

    Education
    M.S., Department of Horticulture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1983. B.S., Department of Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University, 1980