News & Information

Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
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.

Lead researcher Laura Gigliotti pauses with one of 70 snowshoe hares she trapped in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Researchers found that hares in the Keystone State are, on average, significantly larger than those in the Yukon.
August 1, 2017

Snowshoe hares in Pennsylvania — at the southern end of the species' range — show adaptations in fur color and characteristics, behavior and metabolism, to enable them to survive in less wintry conditions than their far northern relatives, according to a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The Plant Disease Clinic in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences provides clinical diagnoses of plant diseases for Pennsylvania's agricultural producers, gardeners and homeowners. Here, Sara May, plant pathologist and clinic coordinator, examines a specimen.
July 28, 2017

The Plant Disease Clinic in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences provides clinical diagnoses of plant diseases for Pennsylvania's agricultural producers, gardeners and homeowners.

July 28, 2017

No matter where Pennsylvanians live, virtually all citizens have a role to play in protecting the state's critical water resources. Visitors to the College of Agricultural Sciences Exhibits Building and Theater at Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 15-17, can learn how they can contribute to keeping water clean, safe and abundant.

As part of their senior capstone project in biological engineering, students designed a device that assists apple pickers. The device mounts on a vehicle that can travel between the trees in an orchard.
July 25, 2017

For their senior capstone projects, biological engineering students at Penn State designed possible solutions to real problems in agriculture and the environment.

Aimed at both youths and adults, 30-minute hay hole and skid steer blind spot demonstrations will take place at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 15-17.
July 25, 2017

Visitors to the Farm Safety Demonstration Area at Penn State's 2017 Ag Progress Days can learn how to reduce the risk of childhood injuries due to falls from hay holes and runover incidents involving skid steers.

Soybean aphids are a recently introduced pest to the U.S., causing yield losses and increased insecticide sprays.  The aphids feed on the sap of soybean plants.
July 24, 2017

The Student Farm is hosting a free insect identification and biological soil health workshop on Saturday, Aug. 5 from 9 to 11 a.m. The workshop will led by Dr. Mary Barbercheck, professor of entomology, Penn State.

July 20, 2017

A team led by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a nearly $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct a three-year study of a new flexible strategy to ramp up installation of riparian buffers.

Pigs and humans have similar colonic stem cell populations and microbiomes, according to Jairam K.P. Vanamala, who led a research effort to better understand those similarities. Using a pig model may help other scientists more effectively test treatments for colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.
July 20, 2017

Pigs have gut bacterial profiles and immune systems similar to humans. Using a pig model, in addition to mice models, may help minimize the failure rate of drugs for diseases linked to high-calorie diets, such as colon cancer and type 2 diabetes, say researchers.

Lead researcher Kathryn Barlow, a doctoral student in ecology, conducts a plant survey on the edge of a Marcellus shale natural gas well pad.
July 20, 2017

Vast swaths of Pennsylvania forests were clear-cut circa 1900 and regrowth has largely been from local native plant communities, but a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with unconventional natural gas development.