Four honored for commitment to diversity in College of Agricultural Sciences

Four individuals have received the 2021 Dr. William Henson Diversity Achievement Award from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, an honor that recognizes distinctive and outstanding teaching, research, extension or creative work that advances diversity in the college.

Novel study looks at nitrogen credit trading to spur growth of riparian buffers

Watershedwide nutrient credit trading has been suggested as a mechanism for reducing pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay, but a new study by Penn State researchers suggests that the high cost of producing nitrogen credits through the establishment of riparian buffers on Pennsylvania farmland currently does not provide an incentive for buffer establishment.

CRISPR/Cas technology could enable early diagnosis of devastating citrus disease

Penn State and U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists have used cutting-edge CRISPR/Cas technology to develop a diagnostic test that could enable early diagnosis of citrus greening, or Huanglongbing, a serious disease that threatens worldwide citrus production, which is valued at roughly $17 billion from the sale of fresh fruit and juices.

Pennsylvania 4-H leadership looks toward resumption of in-person activities

As group-gathering restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic begin to ease, leaders of the Pennsylvania 4-H youth development program are planning for the probability that youth 4-H members and volunteer leaders will be able to participate in program activities in person in the coming months, likely supplemented with virtual offerings.

Extension educators explain spotted lanternfly life cycle, offer management tips

Sunny skies and rising temperatures have many on cloud nine with anticipation of summertime fun. But for residents in parts of Pennsylvania and beyond, these weather conditions also signal the return of a trespasser that aims to rain on their parade — the spotted lanternfly.

Mutant corn gene boosts sugar in seeds, leaves, may lead to breeding better crop

An abnormal build up of carbohydrates — sugars and starches — in the kernels and leaves of a mutant line of corn can be traced to one misregulated gene, and that discovery offers clues about how the plant deals with stress.

Spanish for Agriculture courses build bridges and meet industry need

Students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences can fulfill their language requirements with a series of introductory and intermediate-level Spanish for Agriculture language and culture courses designed to benefit both students and industry.

USDA grant to support expansion of online tool for pollinator conservation

A Penn State-led research team has received a nearly $950,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to create the next generation of an online decision-support tool designed to help conserve pollinator populations across the United States.

Farmland acreage falls in Pa. while population rises in prime agricultural areas

The number of acres of farmland in Pennsylvania fell by 6% between 2012 and 2017, at a time when the state's prime farming regions are experiencing population growth that may create long-term challenges for producers. That's one conclusion of a new report from the Center for Economic and Community Development in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

College of Ag Sciences doctoral student chosen as Next Generation Global Leader

Kelly Chege, a doctoral candidate in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been selected as a member of the inaugural class of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s Next Generation Global Leaders Network.

Spotted lanternfly experts debunk myths about the prodigious, pestilent pest

As the spotted lanternfly extension associate in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Heather Leach hears stories or “myths” about management or the biology of the pest.

Researchers investigate an at-home 'scratch-and-sniff' test for COVID-19

A self-administered "scratch-and-sniff" test for COVID-19 may be around the corner, according to researchers at Penn State, the University of Florida and Arizona State University. The team, which received $912,000 from the National Institutes of Health, will analyze two different smell tests with a goal of developing inexpensive, at-home tests to help identify new cases of COVID-19 and provide a warning sign of a community outbreak in time to thwart it.

Study: Bumble bees lacking high-quality habitat have higher pathogen loads

Bumble bees found in low-quality landscapes — characterized by a relative lack of spring flowers and quality nesting habitat — had higher levels of disease pathogens, as did bumble bees in areas with higher numbers of managed honey bee hives, according to research led by Penn State scientists.

'Windows of opportunity' crucial for cutting Chesapeake nutrient, sediment loads

The vast majority of nutrients and sediment washed into streams flowing into the Chesapeake Bay are picked up by deluges from severe storms that occur on relatively few days of the year. That is the conclusion of a new study led by Penn State researchers, who say it offers clues for cleaning up the impaired estuary.

Researchers aim to 'upcycle' nutrient waste on farms using duckweed

With a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Penn State researchers will investigate how duckweed could be grown on Pennsylvania farms to limit nutrient pollution into the Chesapeake Bay.

Penn State researcher to explore how vitamin D affects COVID-19

Funding from the National Institutes of Health will enable Margherita Cantorna, distinguished professor of molecular immunology and nutrition in the College of Agricultural Sciences, to study whether vitamin D supplementation could help people ward off or reduce symptoms caused by COVID-19.

COVID-related unemployment hits people of color, women and older workers hardest

Job losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic have affected wide swaths of the population, but workers in some demographic groups and industry sectors have been hit harder than others, according to "COVID-19 and Pennsylvania’s Economy," a series of reports compiled by researchers in Penn State's Center for Economic and Community Development.

Dairy cows exposed to heavy metals worsen antibiotic-resistant pathogen crisis

Dairy cows, exposed to drinking water contaminated with heavy metals for a few years, carry more pathogens loaded with antimicrobial-resistance genes able to tolerate and survive various antibiotics. That’s the finding of a team of researchers that conducted a study of two dairy herds in Brazil four years after a dam holding mining waste ruptured, and it spotlights a threat to human health, the researchers contend.

Golden ticket: Researchers examine what consumers desire in chocolate products

Gold foil, ornate labels and an intriguing backstory are product characteristics highly desired by premium chocolate consumers, according to research conducted by food scientists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Veterinary experts offer advice after pet cat tests positive for COVID-19 in Pa.

Despite the state's first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a domestic cat, veterinary experts say residents should not be concerned about contracting the virus from pets and other domesticated animals. However, people with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 should take precautions to protect the health of their pets.

More precise nitrogen recommendations for corn to help farmers, cut pollution

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have developed an important component of a new system that corn growers can use to adjust nitrogen fertilizer applications based on site-specific measurements of cover crops and soil organic matter.

Penn State sensory scientists encourage smell checks to fight COVID-19 spread

With mounting scientific evidence that anosmia, or loss of smell, is one of the most specific symptoms of COVID-19 infection, sensory scientists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have launched a webpage to encourage people to perform a daily smell test in an effort to nip disease spread in the bud.

Penn State researcher part of project to develop novel COVID-19 vaccine

A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is part of a team of scientists working to develop a unique COVID-19 vaccine that uses a bovine adenovirus as a safe and effective delivery vehicle.

Harvesting vegetation on riparian buffers barely reduces water-quality benefits

Allowing farmers to harvest vegetation from their riparian buffers will not significantly impede the ability of those streamside tracts to protect water quality by capturing nutrients and sediment — and it will boost farmers’ willingness to establish buffers.

Researchers hear more crickets and katydids 'singing in the suburbs'

The songs that crickets and katydids sing at night to attract mates can help in monitoring and mapping their populations, according to Penn State researchers, whose study of Orthoptera species in central Pennsylvania also shed light on these insects' habitat preferences.

Penn State researchers to study novel coronavirus potential to infect livestock

A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enable Penn State researchers to study the potential for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, to infect and spread among livestock.

Insect Biodiversity Center to promote insect conservation, healthy ecosystems

The newly launched Insect Biodiversity Center at Penn State will create a focal point for the study and conservation of insects and the ecosystems with which they interact. The center brings together faculty researchers and educators from eight Penn State colleges.

Penn State alumnus hits a homerun as head groundskeeper for minor league team

Penn State alumnus Jordan Barr is living his “field of dreams” as head groundskeeper for the Burlington Bees, a Los Angeles Angels-affiliated baseball team in southeastern Iowa.

Merit-based NSF grant extension supports expansion of gene-editing technology

Researchers who developed an improved method of gene editing for the study of arthropods will expand the technology for use in vertebrate species such as mice, fish and birds after receiving new funding from the National Science Foundation.

Cover crop mixtures must be 'farm-tuned' to provide maximum ecosystem services

Penn State researchers, in a recent study, were surprised to learn that they could take the exact same number of seeds from the same plants, put them in agricultural fields across the Mid-Atlantic region and get profoundly different stands of cover crops a few months later.

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