Entomologists Joseph Elkinton, George Boettner and Hannah Broadley at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are declaring victory this month over the invasive winter moth – which begins life as a leaf-chomping, tree-denuding caterpillar that had threatened wide-spread defoliation of coastal New England shade trees and blueberries until the researchers introduced a natural parasitic fly that has greatly reduced moth numbers. (South Coast Today, Gazette 9/12/18; WFCR, 9/6/18; Republican, Globe, Wicked Local Wayland, 9/5/18; News Office Release)
News from the Media
Cranberry farmers buried under a glut of the tart fruit are seeking permission for a radical way to dig themselves out: destroying millions of pounds of their crops. "Overproduction is the bane and has been for cranberries in the last few years, and consequently we’re not getting much money for our crops,” said Jack Angley, owner of Flax Pond Farms in Carver, and Chair of Board of Public Overseers [BOPO] for UMass Extension. (Globe 9/3/18)
The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) announced Baoshan Xing as the 2018 award recipient to be formally presented at the SSSA Awards Ceremony on January 8, 2019 during the scientific society’s Annual Meeting in San Diego. The annual awards are presented for outstanding contributions to soil science through education, national and international service, and research.
A new study headed by Hang Xiao, University of Massachusetts food science, says eating strawberries could help people manage inflammatory bowel disease. Xiao reports the sedentary lifestyle and dietary habits of many people – high-sugar, high-animal fat, but low-fiber diets – may promote colonic inflammation and increase the risk of IBD. (Endopro 9/28/18; Daily Mail 8/20/18; Women’s Health [Australia], India TV, Xinhuanet.com [China], Outlook [India], 8/21/18; Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, NewsHealthDigest.com, News Medical Life Sciences, Laboratory Equipment, 8/20/18)
Katie Campbell-Nelson, vegetable specialist with UMass Extension, comments on this year's difficult growing conditions in the central part of Massachusetts. Worcester Telegram & Gazette, August 16 2018.
Recorder (Greenfield) columnist and former UMass Extension staffer talks about the value of the UMass Extension program. The Recorder, August 14, 2018.
Extension weed specialist Randy Prostak is quoted in article on discovery of the invasive plant giant hogweed growing in two towns in Worcester County. Worcester Telegram and Gazette, July 22, 2018.
Plant scientist Fatemeh Etemadi, a PhD candidate (Hashemi Lab) at Stockbridge School of Agriculture, UMass Amherst, investigated the accumulation trend and the amount of L-Dopa in various parts of of faba bean plant and concluded that the L-Dopa concentration was in the following order; leaves, seeds, flowers, roots, and stems. (News Office 7/9/18)
Young people had a chance to showcase their farming skills at the Franklin County 4-H Fair, which was held Saturday, June 30, at the Heath Fairgrounds. (Recorder 7/6/18)