Technology in agriculture initiative kicks off with collaborative symposium

May 21, 2024

Attendees from within and beyond the University recently convened at Penn State for the Technologies for Agriculture and Living Systems Symposium, where they had the opportunity to learn about current research, share ideas for collaboration, and grow networks.

'Fertilizer Recommendation Support Tool' to digitize crop nutrient management

April 12, 2024

A nationwide team of agricultural scientists, including researchers at Penn State, has launched a decision aid that provides an unbiased, science-based interpretation of soil test phosphorus and potassium values for crop fertilization, with an eye toward potentially saving farmers millions of dollars annually while reducing excess nutrient losses to the environment.

Novel method to measure root depth may lead to more resilient crops

March 19, 2024

As climate change worsens global drought conditions, hindering crop production, the search for ways to capture and store atmospheric carbon causing the phenomenon has intensified. Penn State researchers have developed a new high-tech tool that could spur changes in how crops withstand drought, acquire nitrogen and store carbon deeper in soil.

Penn State College of Ag Sciences seeks partners for statewide tech initiative

February 28, 2024

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences invites collaborators from within and beyond the University to join it as it embarks on a new initiative focused on leveraging emerging and advanced technologies to support sustainable and resilient agricultural systems and the broader living systems that support them.

Cyber-physical heating system may protect apple blossoms in orchards

February 28, 2024

Spring frosts can have devastating effects on apple production, and a warming climate may be causing trees to blossom early, making them more susceptible to the damaging effects of extreme cold events. Growers’ attempts to prevent the flowers from freezing by attempting to heat the canopies of their orchards largely have been inefficient. To deal with the worsening problem, Penn State researchers devised a frost protection cyber-physical system, which makes heating decisions based on real-time temperature and wind-direction data.

TerraSafe Materials and Penn State partner on sustainable packaging solutions

February 27, 2024

TerraSafe has established a lab in State College and entered a licensing agreement with Penn State to commercialize sustainable packaging solutions developed by researchers at Penn State. The agreement is based on technologies invented by a research team led by Jeffrey Catchmark, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and of bioethics in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Catchmark and his team have worked for years developing technology that can replace conventionally used materials with those that are significantly more environmentally friendly.

Novel tool informs land use and nutrient control in troubled waters

December 7, 2023

In watersheds degraded by runoff of nutrients from farmland, land managers may struggle to pinpoint the best locations to install riparian buffer strips along streams or other pollution-reduction practices, but a new technology devised by Penn State scientists could potentially make the search for those sites easier and less expensive.

Researchers predict climate change-driven reduction in beneficial plant microbes

November 20, 2023

An international team of researchers that includes Penn State faculty has characterized the abundances and distributions of plant beneficial bacteria from soils collected across the globe — and modeled how climate change may impact their numbers in the coming century. They published their findings in Nature Food.

$7M grant funds project to develop new ways to protect mushroom crops

November 16, 2023

A new grant for more than $7 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will fund an upcoming project led by Penn State researchers, who aim to develop new pest management tools for mushroom crops.

Nittany AI Challenge Ideation Workshop set for Nov. 30

November 15, 2023

The Nittany AI Challenge Ideation Workshop: Agriculture and Environmental Sustainability workshop on Nov. 30 will connect students with experts and local nonprofit leaders in agricultural and environmental sustainability to explore how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to address real-world problems in the field.

NASA awards multi-institutional team $1M grant to inform US forest management

November 15, 2023

A research team led by a Penn State ecologist has received a $1 million grant from NASA to integrate satellite data into predictive modeling to anticipate change in recruitment — the process by which new trees emerge — within forests across the eastern United States.  

Predicting nationwide crop water availability by understanding soil influences

October 24, 2023

A team of researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to generate knowledge and tools, such as national-level predictive models, to develop a better understanding of how changes in soil texture and structure influence the availability of water for crops.

Replacing 3D printing plastics with plant-derived materials

October 20, 2023

A sustainable resin material comprising agriculturally derived components could potentially replace plastics used in large-format 3D printing, which can produce furniture, boats and other similarly sized objects, according to a team of Penn State agricultural and biological engineers.

New updates come to 'Beescape,' an online tool for supporting pollinators

September 1, 2023

New updates have come to 'Beescape,' an online tool created by a Penn State-led team for assessing the quality of landscapes for supporting bees and other pollinators.

Penn State receives $3M grant to address insect biodiversity crisis

August 28, 2023

A team of Penn State researchers has received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to spearhead a new initiative to create novel monitoring systems for insect populations, many of which are experiencing dramatic changes across the globe due to changes in land use, pollution and climate change.

Precision technology, machine learning lead to early diagnosis of calf pneumonia

July 13, 2023

Monitoring dairy calves with precision technologies based on the “internet of things,” or IoT, leads to the earlier diagnosis of calf-killing bovine respiratory disease, according to a new study. The novel approach — a result of crosscutting collaboration by a team of researchers from Penn State, University of Kentucky and University of Vermont —will offer dairy producers an opportunity to improve the economies of their farms, according to researchers.   

Machine vision system developed capable of locating king flowers on apple trees

January 26, 2023

A machine vision system capable of locating and identifying apple king flowers within clusters of blossoms on trees in orchards was devised by Penn State researchers — a critical early step in the development of a robotic pollination system — in a first-of-its-kind study.

Agricultural engineers design early step for robotic, green-fruit thinning

July 18, 2022

Penn State agricultural engineers have developed, for the first time, a prototype “end-effector” capable of deftly removing unwanted apples from trees — the first step toward robotic, green-fruit thinning.

Internet-based precision irrigation system shows promise for fresh-market tomato

May 17, 2022

An “internet of things” — or IoT — system monitoring real-time data from soil-based sensors to activate an automated precision irrigation setup can conserve water and boost crop production, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

Developing a System to Continuously Measure N2O Emission from Soils

April 1, 2022

This project explores the development of nitrous oxide monitoring system for soil emissions in an effort to mitigate its impacts on climate change and improve soil health.

Research suggests foliar fungicides help increase soybean yield in some regions

January 6, 2022

While previous studies have shown little economic benefit associated with using foliar fungicides in soybean as a preventive measure, new research aided by a Penn State plant pathologist suggests otherwise, especially in southern regions.

U.S. soybean, corn yields could be increased through use of machine learning

September 29, 2021

Research guided by a plant pathologist in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences suggests that machine-learning algorithms that are programmed to recognize changing weather patterns could show producers and agricultural managers how to increase soybean and corn yields in the United States.

Nitrous oxide emissions, coming from legume cover crops, manure, can be reduced

August 2, 2021

The application of manure after the growth and demise of legume cover crops in rotations is a recipe to increase nitrous oxide releases during ensuing corn growth, according to a team of Penn State researchers who conducted a new study. They suggest that innovative management strategies are needed to reduce these emissions.

Researchers develop prototype of robotic device to pick, trim button mushrooms

June 1, 2021

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have developed a robotic mechanism for mushroom picking and trimming and demonstrated its effectiveness for the automated harvesting of button mushrooms.

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

October 15, 2020

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.

Novel cutting mechanism devised for automated, robotic apple-tree pruning system

July 24, 2020

The first robotic cutting mechanism — or “end-effector” — for a fully automated, computerized pruning system for modern apple orchards has been designed by a Penn State research team, an early step in the creation of a technology aimed at easing challenges facing tree-fruit growers.

NSF grant supports development of robotic frost protection in orchards

March 25, 2019

A system that helps tree-fruit growers avoid frost damage to their crops by using unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, and ground-based robots could be on the horizon, thanks to Penn State researchers, supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600