Cover crops project provides fertile ground for USDA graduate fellows

August 21, 2023

Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences graduate students received more predoctoral fellowships from the U.S. Department of Agriculture than any other institution over the last five years. This year, five of the 11 recipients worked in the college’s long-term cover crop cocktails experiment. 

Curbing cow belches in the name of climate change mitigation

August 21, 2023

A Penn State livestock emissions expert has received a grant from the Greener Cattle Initiative to develop actionable options to mitigate enteric (intestinal) methane emissions from cattle — which are produced via belching.  

Bee populations at risk of one-two punch from heat waves, pathogen infection

August 16, 2023

A global research team led by Penn State was the first to study how extreme heat waves affect the host-pathogen relationship between two species of solitary bees (Osmia cornifrons and Osmia lignaria) and a protozoan pathogen (Crithidia mellificae).

Natural compound in white button mushrooms could benefit animal, human health

August 15, 2023

A team of researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has identified a compound in white button mushrooms that could potentially benefit gut health in mammals. They published their findings in the Journal of Functional Foods.

Newly identified protein function may reveal understanding of lifetime fertility

August 11, 2023

A protein in mouse ovaries regulates the formation of the ovarian follicle reserve — comprising a mammal’s egg cells and surrounding support cells, according to a study conducted by a U.S.-Canadian research team. The discovery provides a foundation for further research on premature ovarian insufficiency and menopause in women and reproductive problems in dairy cows.

College of Ag Sciences scientist receives grant to study gut homeostasis, diet

August 9, 2023

A research team led by a Penn State faculty member has received a nearly $640,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study how produce can improve inflammatory bowel diseases.

Students pursue research passions through NOAA’s Hollings Scholarship

August 8, 2023

Four students in the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences were recently awarded the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to advance their research ambitions. The Schreyer Honors Scholars  are Jackie Kiszka, Asha Spencer and Mallory Wickline, all third-year students majoring in meteorology and atmospheric science, and Bridget Reheard, who is also a third-year student and double majoring in geosciences and wildlife and fisheries science.

Microbe-stuffed soil crusts menaced by climate change

August 3, 2023

Using a novel method to detect microbial activity in biological soil crusts, or biocrusts, after they are wetted, a Penn State-led research team in a new study uncovered clues that may lead to a better understanding of the role microbes play in forming a living skin over many semi-arid ecosystems around the world. The tiny organisms — and the microbiomes they create — are threatened by climate change.

Second species of ramp, or wild leek, documented in Pennsylvania

July 26, 2023

The presence of a second species of ramp, Allium burdickii — commonly known as narrow-leaved wild leek — has been documented in southwest Pennsylvania by a team of Penn State researchers in a new study. This plant species never before has been documented in the state, and the researchers suggest the discovery shows a need to protect remaining populations of the plant.

Organic vegetable research, water quality highlight Ag Progress Days tours

July 21, 2023

A variety of topics related to agriculture and natural resources will be in the spotlight on several research and educational tours offered during Penn State's Ag Progress Days, set for Aug. 8-10 at Rock Springs.

Philadelphia soil project signals largely positive findings for urban growers

July 21, 2023

Initial findings from a soil testing project launched a year ago in Philadelphia indicate positive news for urban growers — low levels of contaminants and higher than expected levels of nutrients. The project is aimed at helping to ensure safe and productive urban gardening.

USDA grant funds study of effectiveness of vegetation to curb water pollution

July 20, 2023

 At a time when Pennsylvania is actively working to achieve water-quality improvements to meet the state’s obligations for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, a multidisciplinary Penn State research team is studying whether agricultural pollution-prevention devices called riparian buffers are working properly. 

Penn State researchers examine how environmental chemicals affect gut microbiome

July 19, 2023

Investigating how environmental chemical exposure impacts the gut microbiome to exacerbate inflammatory conditions and chronic diseases is the goal of a new $7 million grant awarded to Andrew Patterson, professor of molecular toxicology and the John T. and Paige S. Smith Professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Crop physiologist to study phosphorus availability and storage root growth

July 19, 2023

A researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead a multi-university team in a study focused on the anatomical, physiological and genetic factors underlying phosphorus-stress-induced reprogramming of storage root architecture. 

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.   

Growing cover crops under vineyard vines is a sustainability strategy

July 12, 2023

The perfect pairing for certain fine vines may be grasses. A new study by Penn State researchers shows that in regions with fertile soils that receive plenty of rainfall, growing cover crops under the vines so that the vineyard floor is completely covered with vegetation is a sustainability strategy.

Penn State Master Gardeners honored internationally for bee monitoring work

July 11, 2023

Penn State Extension Master Gardeners triumphed at the International Master Gardener Conference held June 18-22 in Overland Park, Kansas, earning first place in the research category of the David Gibby Search for Excellence Awards for their exceptional volunteer work and dedication to bee monitoring.

'Growing Impact' podcast examines effects of flooding on substance use, support

July 7, 2023

The latest episode of the "Growing Impact" podcast explores the world of substance use and addiction through the lens of environmental disasters, specifically how flooding in rural areas can affect drug use and the support needed by those impacted by substance use disorder.

Q&A: Tick season is starting sooner, and they are showing up in new places

July 4, 2023

As tick season gets into full swing, we spoke with two experts who study them to learn about the latest in tick research and how to stay protected.

A seed survival story: How trees keep ‘friends’ close and ‘enemies’ guessing

June 29, 2023

A new study, by an international team of scientists that included millions of tree-year observations worldwide, for the first time documents and analyzes the intricate balance between seed defense and dispersal by forest trees at a global scale. 

Climate disasters, traumatic events have long-term impacts on youths' academics

June 28, 2023

Experiencing household “shocks” — sudden, traumatic events such as the death of a parent, loss of family income or a natural disaster — may negatively affect not just a child’s well-being but their academic progress as well, according to Penn State researchers.

Penn State researchers discover one-of-a-kind fish is local to lower Susquehanna

June 22, 2023

In an attempt to rescue a rare darter in the lower Susquehanna River, a Penn State research team, working with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, has determined that the fish is a distinct subspecies found nowhere else. The fish’s rarity makes the effort to restore its population even more important, the researchers say.

Under the canopy: Penn State researchers study beech leaf disease in PA forests

June 22, 2023

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are studying the effects of beech leaf disease, spearheading efforts to learn more about the disease and how to combat it.

Penn State researchers discover one-of-a-kind fish is local to lower Susquehanna

June 20, 2023

In an attempt to rescue a rare darter in the lower Susquehanna River, a Penn State research team, working with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, has determined that the fish is a distinct subspecies found nowhere else. The fish’s rarity makes the effort to restore its population even more important, the researchers say.

Animal scientist receives USDA grant to study reproductive dysfunction in cattle

June 15, 2023

A Penn State animal scientist has received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead a team conducting research on reproductive dysfunction in cattle.

Penn State dairy cattle geneticist finds mutant gene threatening Holstein calves

June 14, 2023

In the fall of 2020, when Chad Dechow, Penn State associate professor of dairy cattle genetics, got a call from veterinarians in New York describing a strange condition affecting Holstein calves on two farms under their care, he was unfamiliar with the condition that came to be known as calf recumbency. Since then, he and his collaborators identified the underlying genetic mutation and devised a simple genetic test to identify Holsteins that harbor the mutation. 

Troy Ott named acting director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

June 12, 2023

Troy Ott , professor of reproductive physiology and associate director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, has been selected to serve as acting director of the Huck Institutes during the appointment of Andrew Read as interim senior vice president of research at Penn State. Ott’s position will be effective July 1.  

Digital divide hinders rural innovation, study shows

June 9, 2023

Cloud-based computing directly contributes to business innovation, but rural businesses lacking sufficient broadband capacity to access cloud services are missing out on their innovation-boosting potential, according to a team of researchers from Penn State and the National Science Foundation. The findings can be used by policymakers and business-support organizations to foster greater opportunities for rural innovation.

New center to promote agricultural conservation in Pennsylvania

June 7, 2023

As part of an ongoing effort to promote soil and water conservation on farms, Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has launched the Center for Agricultural Conservation Assistance Training in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Fact sheets provide new insights into agritourism and direct sales for US states

June 2, 2023

A new set of fact sheets provides comprehensive insights into the demographics of U.S. farms that offer agritourism activities or sell food directly to consumers or both. The fact sheets are available for all 50 states and are intended to help local decision makers, farmers and the organizations that support them in their efforts to strengthen and expand agritourism enterprises.  

Office for Research and Graduate Education

Address

217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600

Office for Research and Graduate Education

Address

217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600