AMHERST, Mass. – In the first-of-its-kind study of the environmental effects of hydropeaking, that is releasing water at hydropower dams to meet peak daily electricity demand, two University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers say their unexpected findings suggest that about 10 percent of released water may be permanently lost, making that water unavailable to downstream users and wildlife. Hydrogeologist Brian Yellen says, “The most interesting thing we found is something we weren’t looking for.
Extension in Western Massachusetts
About Western Massachusetts
The western region of Massachusetts is composed of Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The largest city in the region is Springfield, located in Hampden County, along the Interstate 91 corridor on the Connecticut River.
It’s official: eating local vegetables all winter has become popular—and easy.
A four-year UMass Extension project has just wrapped up that aimed to support New England farmers as they expanded their vegetable production and sales into the winter months in response to the increasing public desire for year-round access to local food. The project was supported by a grant from USDA’s Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education program (SARE).
A new, detailed report on the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline route through western Massachusetts points to its impact on protected open space dedicated to agriculture and conservation, and especially on Franklin County’s primary habitat for rare species habitat, wetlands wildlife habitat and communities of biodiversity. (4/22/15 The Recorder; 5/13/15 Hampshire Gazette)
The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment has released “A Natural Resources Assessment of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s Proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project’s Pipeline Route Within Massachusetts.” The assessment was conducted by a team from UMass Amherst’s Department of Environmental Conservation, including Scott Jackson, Extension Associate Professor, Bethany Bradley, Assistant Professor, and Thomas Cairns, MS Candidate.
Attend PVGrows 2015 Spring Forum to learn about the role that 'secure access to land' plays in our food system – and how individuals and organizations can work together to strengthen this foundation. The forum will be held on Wednesday, April 15th from 9:00-1:30 p.m., at Open Square in Holyoke, MA.
The public is invited to share ideas during a Listening Session for the Massachusetts Food System Plan on Tuesday, February 3 from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. in the Campus Center at UMass Amherst. The purpose is to provide the planning team a wide variety of perspectives regarding ways to improve our food system. A statewide plan, incorporating input from stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth, has been in the works since July, 2014 and is scheduled to be ready for review in December 2015.
The UMass Amherst Design Center in Court Square has had its lease cancelled by the City of Springfield to make way for new development. The Center is directed by MIchael DiPasquale, extension assistant professor in the University's Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. Channel 22/WWLP December 2, 2014.
More than 200 vegetable farmers, agriculture students, and other members of the Bay State’s agriculture community attended two free workshops designed to help improve the soil’s capacity to function as a vital living system that sustains plant, animal and human health.
Many tomato growers are finding it impossible to catch up with the harvest after a blight ruined their crops. “It has been very serious, particularly for organic farmers,” said Ruth V. Hazzard, vegetable specialist for the UMass Extension, explaining that the fungicide they can use for late blight is more limited and not as effective in controlling the spread of the disease as those that can be used more broadly by non-organic farmers. The blight is affecting farmers and home gardeners in Massachusetts.
Area farmers are once again on the front lines of weather patterns that in recent weeks have brought cooler, rainier weather to the region. That’s translated into problems for some growers of potatoes and tomatoes as well as for those growing vine crops such as pumpkins and squash, says University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension vegetable specialist Ruth Hazzard. (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 8/22/14)