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Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Researchers and funders check on vegetation treatment success at the Right-of-way at State Game Land 33.
August 17, 2017

A group of faculty, students, energy providers, and vegetation-management companies are looking at how to best maintain right-of-ways under utilities to protect those utilities and promote wildlife at the same time.

Researcher Ali Demirci adjusts a bioreactor in which potato waste is being used to produce bioethanol with a novel process that simultaneously employs mold and yeast to convert starch to sugar and sugar to ethanol.
August 17, 2017

With more than two dozen companies in Pennsylvania manufacturing potato chips, it is no wonder that researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have developed a novel approach to more efficiently convert potato waste into ethanol. This process may lead to reduced production costs for biofuel in the future and add extra value for chip makers.

The method of animal manure application can influence the availability of nutrients and estrogens to runoff water. Several Penn State studies have shown the potential benefits of shallow disk injection (shown here) for reducing phosphorus and nitrate transport in surface runoff compared to surface broadcasting. Just published research demonstrated significantly reduced estrogen transport in runoff from shallow disk injection plots relative to surface broadcast plots. The inset photo shows injectors.
August 16, 2017

With water quality in the Chesapeake Bay suffering from excess nutrients and fish populations in rivers such as the Susquehanna experiencing gender skewing and other reproductive abnormalities, understanding how to minimize runoff of both nutrients and endocrine-disrupting compounds from farm fields after manure applications is a critical objective for agriculture.

From left, Katherine Huskin, Steve Hanna and Stuti Thapa, all students in the global health minor, spent five weeks in northern Minnesota working with the Ojibwe, a Native American people. 
August 16, 2017

Three students in the global health minor spent five weeks, as part of their required fieldwork, in northern Minnesota working with the population of the Ojibwe, a Native American people. The first two weeks were spent immersing in the culture of the Leech Lake Reservation and the Red Lake Reservation, while the last three weeks consisted of academic research at White Earth Reservation.

Fans will be able to purchase pints of vanilla, chocolate, Death by Chocolate, chocolate chip cookie dough, cookies n’ cream and Peachy Paterno at Beaver Stadium starting this football season.
August 14, 2017

Fans attending football games will, for the first time, have access to Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream in Beaver Stadium when the Nittany Lions kick off their season on Sept. 2.

The Alumni Association's Huddle with the Faculty series begins its 25th season on Sept. 2, when the 2017-18 Penn State Laureate, Andrew Belser, will lead a discussion on the FaceAge project.
August 14, 2017

The Penn State Alumni Association’s Huddle with the Faculty series will enlighten and inform alumni, friends and fans on home fall Saturdays this football season, the program’s 25th year.

August 14, 2017

A virus that infects a species of malaria-transmitting mosquito could help scientists gain a better understanding of mosquito biology and eventually could lead to methods for stopping or slowing the spread of the disease, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Jason Rasgon, professor of entomology, has received a grant of $1.9 million from the National Institutes of Health to study the virus, called AgDNV.

Penn State's Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center, located along state Route 45 at Rock Springs, is a hub for cutting-edge research and education conducted by the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the site of Ag Progress Days (lower left).
August 9, 2017

Penn State's Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center, located along state Route 45 at Rock Springs, is a hub for cutting-edge research and innovative education conducted by the College of Agricultural Sciences, and is also the location of the annual Ag Progress Days expo.

Visitors to Ag Progress Days can see equipment demonstrations, animals, research tours, garden exhibits, health and safety exhibits and much more.
August 8, 2017

Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 15-17, will offer fun and educational activities for adults, children and families, while providing agricultural producers with valuable knowledge to improve their farm businesses.

Prospective producers can learn more about what is involved with raising sheep or goats at a workshop scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, at Witt Club Lambs in Melcroft. The event is co-sponsored by Penn State Extension.
August 8, 2017

Southwestern Pennsylvania provides an ideal environment to raise sheep and goats. Rolling hills may not be suitable for crop production, but they can provide high-quality pasture for sheep and goat production.

August 7, 2017

How the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is connecting transportation projects with local municipal land-use planning initiatives will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are developing strategies to combat weeds while reducing reliance on herbicides. Some of their experiments involved using a high-residue, inter-row cultivator for weed control.
August 7, 2017

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are developing strategies to combat weeds while reducing reliance on herbicides.

Katie DeFiore has been working this summer as an intern at WPSU.
August 7, 2017

Student combines passions, utilizes internship as another step to hone her skills on career path as an "entrepreneurial journalist."

Old Main, University Park
August 4, 2017

The 2017 Institutes for Energy and the Environment seed grants have been awarded to a pool of interdisciplinary researchers at Penn State. Thirteen grants totaling more than $312,000 have been awarded to 42 researchers that addressed four research themes: Climate and Ecosystem Change, Future Energy Supply, Smart Energy Systems, and Water and Biogeochemical Cycles.

The Aprehend biopesticide developed by Penn State researchers contains Beauveria bassiana, a natural and indigenous fungus that causes disease in insects but is harmless to humans. When a bedbug crosses a sprayed barrier, it picks up the fungal spores, which germinate and colonize the body, killing the bedbug in four to seven days.
August 3, 2017

A team of Penn State scientists has developed a potential game-changer in the war against bedbugs — a naturally derived, fungal-based pesticide that uses the bugs’ own natural tendencies to humankind’s advantage.

August 3, 2017

If you have an interest in learning about or influencing laws, regulations, policies and government programs related to agriculture, food and natural resources, Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 15-17, will present opportunities to do just that. A variety of events and exhibits will feature state and federal agencies, state legislators, state cabinet secretaries, a congressman and the governor of Pennsylvania.

Fusarium species have broad relevance in medical and scientific research, agriculture, safety and quality of foods, and urban and rural development. Some can cause disease in plants, animals and humans and produce toxins that can contaminate food. A 2011 study led by Geiser examined the prevalence of common types of Fusarium in bathroom sink drains and found that plumbing systems may be a common source of human infections.
August 2, 2017

David Geiser and Seogchan Kang, professors of plant pathology and environmental biology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to perform the first new synthesis of taxonomy for species of the genus Fusarium in the past 30 years.

The mission of the Pasto Agricultural Museum is to provide the public with an understanding and appreciation for early agriculture and rural life, especially in Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. The facility's collection can be enjoyed in air-conditioned comfort Aug. 15-17 during Ag Progress Days.
August 2, 2017

Visitors to Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum always have been encouraged to think about what it was like to be a farm family member in the distant past, but a special exhibit to be unveiled at Ag Progress Days will ask them to ponder what an old-time farmer thought about each day, and then compare that to what today's farmer thinks about every day.

This Ailanthus tree (tree-of-heaven) rests on the south side of Old Main on Penn State's University Park campus. While there have been no complaints about this particular Ailanthus, the plant's quick growth and spread has turned the tree into a major problem for foresters. Ailanthus was first imported to Pennsylvania in the late 1700s as a status symbol for rare plant collectors and botanists.
August 2, 2017

Ailanthus, also called tree-of-heaven, is a voracious invasive plant species that is rapidly affecting more and more forests in the United States, according to plant pathologists. These researchers recently found that Ailanthus not only produces lots of viable seeds, but also that the species produces seeds earlier in its lifespan and keeps producing seeds, in some cases, more than a century later. Recognizing the invasive potential of Ailanthus may help forestry experts control it.

As gardening enthusiasts have come to expect, attendees to the Lawn and Garden Area can get advice and information on flower arranging, growing herbs, square-foot gardening, hydroponics, pollinators and creating habitat for bees and butterflies, high-tunnels, and potato varieties. Experts, including Penn State Master Gardeners, will be on hand to answer questions about gardening and landscaping.
August 1, 2017

Flowers from variety trials at Penn State's Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center and tips on how to use "fertigation" in the garden will be among new features offered this year at the Yard and Garden Area at Ag Progress Days, Aug. 15-17.