Students dig in to help create new value from potatoes

Sterman Masser, Pennsylvania's largest potato producer, knows consumers aren't reaching for 5- and 10-pound bags of raw potatoes like they used to, and growing its business means developing new value-added products. So students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are working on finding solutions to this market challenge.

Penn State partners to address Republic of Georgia's invasive stink bug problem

Entomologists from Penn State are working to apply what they have learned by studying the Mid-Atlantic region's brown marmorated stink bug infestation — which peaked between 2010 and 2013 — to similar recent problems impacting the Republic of Georgia in eastern Europe.

Research yields test to predict bitter pit disorder in Honeycrisp apples

A test to determine whether bitter pit — a disorder that blindsides apple growers by showing up weeks or months after picking — will develop in stored Honeycrisp apples was developed by a team of Penn State researchers, promising to potentially save millions of dollars annually in wasted fruit.

Like it or not: Broccoli may be good for the gut

Cruciferous vegetables -- such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage -- may help trigger a receptor in the gut that can improve gut function. In a study on mice, eating broccoli led to a better ability to withstand digestive irritants. The researchers also suggest that the mechanism might improve barrier function -- keeping nutrients in and toxins out of the intestinal lining -- and that could limit the damage of inflammation.

Ag Sciences student explores global food practices, nutrition

Emily Seiger, a community, environment and development major in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is gaining insight into problems related to food safety, hygiene and food security around the world.

Graduate training program in pollinator ecology gets a boost with USDA grant

A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enhance an innovative Penn State graduate training program in entomology and ecology aimed at helping to solve the multifaceted problem of pollinator decline.

Penn State student explores the economic impact of disaster relief in Nepal

Kelli Herr, senior in community, environment and development in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, spent her break a long way from home in Thulo Pakhar, Nepal. She worked with a group called All Hands Volunteers, a U.S.-based nonprofit disaster relief organization.

New mobile app diagnoses crop diseases in the field and alerts rural farmers

Researchers who developed a new mobile application that uses artificial intelligence to accurately diagnose crop diseases in the field have won a $100,000 award to help expand their project to help millions of small-scale farmers across Africa. David Hughes, associate professor of entomology and biology, Penn State, leads the project with James Legg, of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.

Ag Department, Penn State seek public input on state Pollinator Protection Plan

Farmers, gardeners and other Pennsylvanians concerned about the health of pollinators — given their critically important role in growing and producing food — now have the chance to comment on a draft of the state’s proposed Pollinator Protection Plan. The plan, developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State, is designed to protect bees and other insects that pollinate nearly 75 percent of the Commonwealth’s food crops.

New biomaterial could replace plastic laminates, greatly reduce pollution

An inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to sustainably replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and many other applications has been developed by Penn State researchers, who predict its adoption would greatly reduce pollution.

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

Colorful fruits and vegetables -- like the purple potato -- may contain compounds that help fight some types of cancer. An international team of researchers studied the anti-cancer effects of purple potatoes in pigs. This could be another step in finding prevention strategies and cancer treatments for patients.

The Final Ag Frontier: Plant sciences student looks to the skies

Plant sciences student Laura Reese spent her spring semester working for NASA in Cape Canaveral, Florida. She performed research in conditions meant to emulate growing plants in space.

Grant supports research to enhance epithelial barrier function, immune response

A faculty member in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a $7.3 million grant for innovative research on a cellular protein that could be a target for enhancing immune function in response to a variety of diseases and environmental toxins. Gary Perdew, John T. and Paige S. Smith Professor in Agricultural Sciences, received the award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Forest experts: All signs point to a banner year for Pa.'s foliage display

The rainy summer in Pennsylvania has set the stage for what could be an awesome autumn foliage display, according to forest ecologists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Student uses summer internship at CDC to fight environmental contaminants

Senior environmental resource management student Aaron Blakney spent the summer of 2017 analyzing the impacts of hazardous materials during an internship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fruit and vegetable intake influences obesity risk in Mexican-American children

Potential disparities in fruit and vegetable intake in Mexican-American children may be placing them at greater risk for obesity and related health problems, according to researchers at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Penn State.

Safe, comfortable housing for cage-free chickens is goal of Penn State research

A shift in consumer behavior is prompting some poultry producers to change the manner in which chickens are housed and cared for, and research underway in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will help them convert from traditional caged housing to noncaged systems that continue to safeguard the health and safety of flocks and employees.

Penn State's Great Insect Fair offers a view of the 'unseen'

Although insects are all around us, we tend to pay attention primarily to the ones that sting, bite, eat our garden plants or invade our homes. But there is much more about the world of insects and other arthropods that goes unnoticed. Giving the public a glimpse into this fascinating world is the goal of Penn State's Great Insect Fair, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the Snider Ag Arena on the University Park campus.

Leaf sensors can tell farmers when crops need to be watered

Plant-based sensors that measure the thickness and electrical capacitance of leaves show great promise for telling farmers when to activate their irrigation systems, preventing both water waste and parched plants, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Medicine and music: Immunology major makes his own way at Penn State

Alex Barna, a junior from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, has discovered an opportunity to distinguish himself from other pre-med students in the College of Agricultural Sciences' immunology and infectious disease major.

New report on farm sales and income graphically shows 'where the action is'

Many would argue that bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. But when it comes to the profitability and survival of Pennsylvania farms, size apparently matters, according to a report compiled by economists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Researchers win funding for new tomatoes, wood packaging pest treatment

Penn State research teams working on two promising discoveries -- a new, energy-efficient treatment to kill destructive insects in wood and new tomato varieties bred for Pennsylvania conditions -- each have won $75,000 Research Applications for Innovation, or RAIN, grants to bring their discoveries to market.

Potato waste processing may be the road to enhanced food waste conversion

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.

Injecting manure instead of spreading on surface reduces estrogen loads

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.

Grant enables study of mosquito virus as a genetic lab tool, malaria biocontrol

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.

Reducing reliance on herbicides the objective of research at Penn State

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

Video: Penn State researchers find new solution to combat age-old bedbug problem

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.

Plant pathology professors receive $1.2 million to study, catalog Fusarium fungi

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.

Plant Disease Clinic at Penn State provides diagnostic, management services

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.

Senior capstone projects teach students skills for the industry

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

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Media Contacts

  • Senior Public Relations Specialist/News Editor
  • Associate Director of Communications
  • Public Relations Specialist/Science Writer
  • Science and News Writer
  • Penn State Extension Writer (Marketing Communications Specialist)