Photo feature shows flowering trees in bloom now in western Massachusetts. Author credits UMass Extension Assistant Professor Amanda Bayer. (Advocate, 5/5/17)
News from the Media
Under legislation proposed by Rep. Kate Hogan, D-Stow, and Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, farmland that is transferred upon the death of a farm owner would be assessed at its agricultural value as long as it stays farmland. Analysis of agricultural census on CAFE website is cited. (Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 5/1/17)
Entomologists at UMass Amherst report that some of this season’s first gypsy moth egg masses have begun to hatch, as observed on April 26 in Belchertown at a location off Route 202. Extension entomologist Tawny Simisky reports that a single egg mass can hold as many as 1,000 eggs. Gypsy moth is a non-native invasive insect in North America. (TV22, 4/28/17; WBZ4TV; WHDH-TV 7; San Francisco Chronicle; CBSBoston; Recorder; Telegram & Gazette; Boston.com; Western Mass. News)
AMHERST, Mass. – The Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a national tick testing lab, recently was chosen to conduct pathogen tests on thousands of ticks collected from 47 sites across the country as part of National Science Foundation’s 30-year National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) project. LMZ director Stephen Rich says these tests will detect pathogens. (WWLP-TV 22, 4/11/17; News Office)
The tick census is unpredictable. Too many variables affect population size — variables so numerous and hyperlocal that one person’s yard can be teeming while the next door neighbor’s is pristine. UMass microbiology professor, Steve Rich, comments on upcoming season. (Globe 3/20/17)
An editorial supports land preservation in Pelham. Town and state officials comment as well as Paul Catanzaro, an assistant professor at UMass whose forest measurements students helped catalog trees, other plants and wildlife. (Gazette 2/27/17)
Unseasonably high temperatures this past week warmed up winter-weary New Englanders, but they also gave a dose of spring to trees. Wesley Autio, the director of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst, said that’s not a problem unless it’s followed by a sudden and severe drop in temperature. (WFCR 2/28/17)
Some 20 people tried their hands at pruning grapes at a workshop at the University of Massachusetts Cold Spring Orchard Research & Education Center on Saturday morning. Participants carefully snipped and shaped vines that will produce the orchard’s wine grapes, led by Sonia Schloemann, fruit specialist at UMass Extension. (Gazette 2/25/17)
AMHERST -- All that snow that fell over the past few days, and threatens to fall in the coming weeks, is made of water.
But Christine Hatch, assistant extension professor, UMass Amherst, said it may not be enough by itself to solve Massachusetts' persistent drought. Timothy Randhir, a UMass hydrologist, said, "We need more snowpack like this to melt slowly. If it melts away quickly, we will lose it." (MassLive 2/15/17)
The Acid Rain Monitoring (ARM) Project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Water Resources Research Center needs volunteers to collect water samples at selected sites in Essex County on Sunday, April 2.
Volunteers are needed to sample Mystic Pond in Methuen, Upper Attitash Pond in Amesbury, the Ipswich River in Ipswich and Black Brook in Hamilton. (Eagle Tribune 2/14/17)