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April 29, 2019

Planting and growing a strategic mix of cover crops not only reduces the loss of nitrogen from farm fields, protecting water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, but the practice also contributes nitrogen to subsequent cash crops, improving yields, according to researchers.

April 3, 2019

Compounds produced by sorghum plants to defend against insect feeding could be isolated, synthesized and used as a targeted, nontoxic insect deterrent, according to researchers who studied plant-insect interactions that included field, greenhouse and laboratory components.

April 2, 2019

Dairy farmers in the Northeast can improve water quality and boost the profitability of their operations by changing the timing and method of applying manure to their fields in the fall, along with planting rye as a cover crop between corn crops — or by double-cropping rye and corn, according to Penn State researchers.

April 2, 2019

Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology, and Siela Maximova, research professor of plant biotechnology, both in the College of Agricultural Sciences, are the recipients of Penn State's 2019 W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award.

March 27, 2019

A new report issued today (March 27) shows how U.S. farmers — facing a surge of weather events and disease outbreaks — can increase production and revenues with innovations produced by federally funded agricultural research, including studies performed in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

March 25, 2019

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

February 26, 2019

Pests and diseases are taking a substantial bite out of the world’s five major food crops — in some cases, up to 40 percent — according to a recently released publication, one of the first to inventory the impact on a global scale.

February 13, 2019

Have you ever wondered about the series of events that led to your birth? According to Troy Ott, professor of reproductive biology at Penn State, these events are really, very improbable.

February 13, 2019

Of Pennsylvania’s 28 million acres, 17 million are forests. Seventy percent of those forested lands are managed by private landowners, two of whom are Tony and Jeanne Riley of Baltimore, Maryland.

February 11, 2019

An anaerobic digester being constructed as part of the Department of Animal Science’s renovation project at its farms is a part of its total nutrient management program that will also support Penn State’s sustainability goals.

January 29, 2019

When Tomas Lowenstein of Agricola La Reina, a mushroom farm in Miranda, Venezuela, needs spawn, or "seed," to grow his crops, his chosen point of contact isn't around the corner or even in the country. It's more than 2,200 miles away in a laboratory on Penn State's University Park campus.

January 17, 2019

In discovering a mutant gene that "turns on" another gene responsible for the red pigments sometimes seen in corn, researchers solved an almost six-decades-old mystery with a finding that may have implications for plant breeding in the future.

January 15, 2019

Andrew Cotter's day does not begin until he's had his "cup of Joe," a ritual he takes seriously as one of a growing group of coffee consumers who grind and brew specialty coffee beans at home for a more flavorful and fragrant experience.

December 20, 2018

The amount and composition of milk produced by dairy cows appears to be more regulated by internal, annual biological rhythms than by environmental factors such as heat and humidity, according to Penn State researchers who studied more than a decade of production records from herds across the country.

December 18, 2018

Harvester ants that eat weed seeds on the soil's surface can help farmers manage weeds on their farms, according to an international team of researchers, who found that tilling less to preserve the ants could save farmers fuel and labor costs, as well as preserve water and improve soil quality.

December 13, 2018

Researchers studying ancient corncobs found at a Native American archeological site have recovered a 1,000-year-old virus, the oldest plant virus ever reported.

November 13, 2018

By temporarily silencing the expression of a critical gene, researchers fooled soybean plants into sensing they were under siege, encountering a wide range of stresses. Then, after selectively cross breeding those plants with the original stock, the progeny "remember" the stress-induced responses to become more vigorous, resilient and productive plants, according to a team of researchers.

November 9, 2018

A research team in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a Grand Challenges Explorations grant — an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

September 21, 2018

The State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Apple Program recently awarded nearly $233,000 in funding to support new and ongoing fruit research and extension projects in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

September 20, 2018

Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, recently was named the J. Franklin Styer Professor of Horticultural Botany.

August 22, 2018

A faculty member in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is among a select group entrusted with updating a publication that is deemed the global "gold standard" of poultry nutrition information for academia, government and industry.

June 25, 2018

Climate projections indicate more warming will occur in the Northeast than other sections of the United States, and that has implications for corn crops and dairy farms in the region by 2050, researchers warn. While rising temperatures are not likely to cause serious reductions in corn crops in the northern and central parts of the Northeast, they threaten corn yields in the southern reaches of the region, according to Heather Karsten, associate professor of crop production ecology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

June 5, 2018

There is no such thing as utopia when it comes to food security, as millions of people around the world have limited food resources. One of those places is Cambodia in Southeast Asia, one of the world's poorest countries, where the rural poverty rate is 24 percent, and 40 percent of children younger than 5 are chronically malnourished, making them vulnerable to significant health problems.

April 16, 2018

Penn State students go through more than 132,000 gallons of fresh milk from University Park’s much-beloved Berkey Creamery every year, but that’s not the only campus to enjoy fresh milk from a local source.

April 2, 2018

A mobile app designed by Penn State researchers to help farmers and others diagnose crop diseases has earned recognition from one of the world's tech giants.

At a boot camp organized by Penn State researchers in the Santa Marta region of Columbia, a local farmer demonstrates the proper method of opening a cacao pod to release the cocoa beans within.
May 15, 2017

As Colombia emerges from 50 years of violence, Penn State experts promote a harvest of peace.

May 5, 2017

A team of food science researchers from Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences are launching a promising new venture to produce a line of all-natural, vibrant food colors, dubbed AvoColor, using a compound derived from the seed of the avocado.

April 24, 2017

Researchers at Penn State have received more than $1 million in first-year funding from the National Institutes of Health to investigate malaria transmission in Southeast Asia with a goal of working toward the disease's elimination in the region. They will receive up to approximately $9 million over seven years for this project.

April 24, 2017

A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is reaching out to Master Gardeners, teachers, students and other interested parties to participate in a citizen-science project that ultimately could benefit growers, crops, pollinators and the environment. "The Great Pumpkin Project" is aimed at describing the geographic distribution of important crop plants and the insects and microbes with which they interact.

February 24, 2017

New construction and renovations are giving a boost to Penn State research and extension programming related to mushrooms, one of Pennsylvania's top agricultural crop

February 24, 2017

"Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population." This truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for the future of agriculture.

February 24, 2017

What looks like a caterpillar chewing on a leaf or a beetle consuming fruit is likely a three-way battle that benefits most, if not all of the players involved, according to a Penn State entomologist.

February 1, 2017

The goal of eliminating malaria in countries like India could be more achievable if mosquito-control efforts take into account the relationship between mosquitoes and cattle, according to an international team of researchers.

February 1, 2017

A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops — such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits — to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

February 1, 2017

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a $7 million grant to design a low-cost, integrated system that can identify and screen for high-yielding, deeper-rooted crops. The interdisciplinary team will combine a suite of technologies designed to identify phenotypes and genes related to desirable root traits, with the goal of enhancing the breeding of crop varieties better adapted for nitrogen and water acquisition and carbon sequestration.

January 9, 2017

A $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation will support a new research project aimed at pinpointing the genes that confer disease resistance in cacao. The ultimate goal of the four-year study is to develop a new approach that plant scientists and breeders can use to identify the genetic basis for disease resistance in a variety of perennial crops.

January 4, 2017

It's a long way between central Pennsylvania and Greenland — at least 2,000 miles — but Laura Radville came to Penn State so she could study climate change in the "Iceberg capital of the world."

December 8, 2016

Neonicotinoids -- the most widely used class of insecticides -- significantly reduce populations of predatory insects when used as seed coatings, according to researchers at Penn State. The team's research challenges the previously held belief that neonicotinoid seed coatings have little to no effect on predatory insect populations. In fact, the work suggests that neonicotinoids reduce populations of insect predators as much as broadcast applications of commonly used pyrethroid insecticides.

November 21, 2016

An interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers has received federal funding to test whether a nanotechnology device can be used to trap and concentrate plant viruses, with an eye toward providing early detection that could help protect crops from disease and reduce pesticide use.

November 11, 2016

Efforts to restore American chestnut trees to their rightful place in the North American forest ecosystem are progressing, although progress has come at a slower pace than once expected, according to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, who explain they have reached a pivotal point.

October 20, 2016

The developer of a mushroom that is genetically modified to resist browning has received a "Best of What's New" award from Popular Science magazine.

August 2, 2016

While Penn State has developed a reputation as a leader in pollinator research, the experiences of entomology alumni illustrate another key contribution to pollinator health. Penn State is playing a critical role in training the next generation of scientists to address problems — such as parasitic mites, diseases and pesticide effects — that are likely to take longer to solve than the duration of a research grant or even an entomologist's entire career.

August 2, 2016

An apple orchard in full bloom: for many, a simple harbinger of spring. But for David Biddinger and his colleagues and graduate students at Penn State’s Fruit Research and Extension Center, the delicate blooms carry the promise of a future in which bees and pesticides can do their work in harmony at fruit farms across the nation.

July 1, 2016

Fewer female white-tailed deer disperse than males, but when they do, they typically travel more than twice as far, taking much more convoluted paths and covering larger areas, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

June 17, 2016

When trade organizations representing the chocolate industry created an endowment in 1986 to support Penn State research on Theobroma cacao -- the cocoa tree -- the use of biotechnology to improve plants was still in its infancy. Now, three decades later, the endowment has grown, and along with it the scientific knowledge that is helping to promote economic security for cocoa farmers in developing countries and to ensure a reliable supply of the raw material needed to manufacture one of the world's favorite delicacies.

May 26, 2016

As the agriculture industry adapts to new technologies, researchers in the College of Agricultural Sciences are finding new ways to use computational simulation models to improve global crop management strategies.

May 13, 2016

An insect never before found in the Western Hemisphere has been discovered in Pennsylvania, and agriculture officials are asking growers and home gardeners to help monitor and manage the new invasive pest. The allium leafminer is a threat to several species of crop plants in the genus Allium, such as onion, leek, garlic, chive, shallot and green onion, warned Shelby Fleischer, professor of entomology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

May 10, 2016

Penn State scientists are helping crops survive drought and poor soils by redesigning their roots, from external architecture to internal anatomy.

April 26, 2016

Bees buzz in the cool morning air on the green roof of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences' Millennium Science Complex on Penn State’s University Park campus. Three colonies have just been moved from the apiary to their new home.

April 26, 2016

Penn State's spirit of collaboration and interest in pressing global issues has made it one of the top universities addressing holistic pollinator health. Through continued research on diseases, diet and nutrition, and the sometimes unintended effects of pesticides, researchers aim to alleviate the problem of pollinator declines.

April 21, 2016

The term "genetically modified organism" is almost guaranteed to spark debate in the news and social media, on internet message boards and at the water cooler. Now, the work of a faculty researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has generated a new wave of attention to the ongoing dialog surrounding GMOs.

April 21, 2016

A safer option for cleaning milking systems on dairy farms may also decrease cleaning time and cost, according to a team of Penn State engineers.

March 2, 2016

For Pennsylvania dairy farmers, producing feed grain on-farm requires significantly less energy than importing it from the Midwest, according to Penn State researchers whose findings may help dairy farmers save energy and money in the face of rising feed costs.

February 25, 2016

A team of researchers, led by scientists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will launch a project designed to improve nutrition and empower women in Cambodia.

February 22, 2016

Six projects have received funding from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences under its Strategic Initiatives and Networks Program, which aims to increase the capacity for interdisciplinary research by strengthening existing programs and promoting formation of new interdisciplinary research partnerships.

January 19, 2016

Catherine Cutter, professor of food science and food safety extension specialist focusing on muscle foods, has been named recipient of the Arthur W. Nesbitt Faculty Program Development Award in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

December 17, 2015

Despite modern technology, the first line of defense against famine-inducing crop diseases is still the keen eyes of farmers around the world, many of whom do not have access to advanced diagnostics and treatment advice. To address this problem, scientists are releasing 50,000 open-access images of infected and healthy crop plants, with an eye toward developing a smartphone app that can automatically diagnose a crop disease.

December 17, 2015

Recognizing the need to improve food security and enhance the well-being of rural populations in developing countries, a new Penn State project will provide intensive training for researchers that will help them to integrate gender-related dimensions into international agricultural research.

October 28, 2015

A new Penn State project aimed at improving the food system in East Africa by enhancing pollination services and promoting bee-derived products has received a Food Systems Innovation Grant from the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, based at Michigan State University.

October 13, 2015

Food Science Professor Gregory R. Ziegler is exploring the commercial potential of a brilliant orange found in avocado pits as a natural food coloring.

October 13, 2015

Smartphones are so ubiquitous, and text messaging and social media activities so common in public places, that no one questions what anyone does with their phone. That pervasiveness allows a phone application to be used in direct, concealed observations without alerting the people being observed.

August 27, 2015

John Hayes, associate professor of food science and director of Penn State's Sensory Evaluation Center, received the Young Investigator Award at the Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium in Gothenburg, Sweden.

August 10, 2015

Several promising technologies earned Penn State faculty researchers grants of $75,000 each to help them transform research projects into viable products on the market. The College of Agricultural Sciences Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program awarded the Research Applications for Innovation grants, which are designed to promote innovation and economic development by encouraging the transfer of technologies to existing and start-up companies.

July 3, 2015

From attending interesting meetings to writing company newsletters to approving product sales, Paige Smoyer found that working as a food safety intern was a fast-paced and intriguing experience.

April 17, 2015

The discovery of a gene involved in determining the melting point of cocoa butter -- a critical attribute of the substance widely used in foods and pharmaceuticals -- will likely lead to new and improved products, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

April 17, 2015

Selective breeding of maize over the last century to create hybrids with desirable shoot characteristics and increased yield may have contributed indirectly to the evolution of root systems that are more efficient in acquiring nutrients, such as nitrogen, from the soil, according to researchers.

February 27, 2015

If you are an organic-crop producer in the Northeast, or a farmer interested in transitioning to organic, there is a new resource available to help provide the research-based information you need to be successful. The newly published Penn State Organic Crop Production Guide is among the most comprehensive university-produced guides in the country.

October 17, 2014

Siela Maximova, senior scientist and professor of horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences, will speak Oct. 16 at a side event at the 2014 Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines, Iowa, the annual symposium at which the World Food Prize is awarded.

August 18, 2014

Laser-guided robots and computer-programmed cleaning devices are allowing dairy farmers to work smarter rather than harder.

July 23, 2014

The feature story in this month's issue of CSA news focuses on the signature food systems project of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development.

July 7, 2014

Cocoa farmers this year will lose an estimated 30 to 40 percent of their crop to pests and disease, and concern is growing about sustainability in cocoa production. Scientists at Penn State's Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences have found – in a safe, biodegradable compound – a potential alternative to the hazardous antifungal agents currently being used to combat one of the most damaging cacao diseases, Phytophthora pod rot (also known as Black Pod).