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Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station

IUD Modulation of the Reproductive Cycle In Equine

During estrus, mares can behave in a manner that can make handling, riding, training, or competing these horses difficult. Current methods to suppress estrus behavior during the breeding season, when most horse competition takes place, include: pharmacological treatments; glass marbles; and negative reinforcement. This work will develpe strategies to control estrus behaviour without the need for pharmacological treatments or negative reinforcement.

Hydropedology of Vernal Pool Systems

Wetland identification, protection, and restoration is a multi-million dollar industry in the United States. State, regional, and federal agencies are working to develop and enforce regulations to maintain, enhance, increase, and protect our nation's wetlands. Non-profit organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, and Ducks Unlimited have joined forces to support many of these efforts. In contrast, economic development can be stymied by over-regulation and thus developers argue for a balance between natural resource protection and development.

Lipids In Plants: Improving and Developing Sustainability of Crops ("LIPIDS of Crops")

A primary issue of concern with biofuels and bio-products is the ability to produce enough  feedstock oils without displacing food crops.  Plant seed oils have tremendous potential as environmentally, economically and technologically feasible replacements for petroleum, but the relatively low oil yields from existing crops limits the commercial viability of seed oil based biofuels.

Water Management and Quality for Ornamental Crop Production and Health

Improving water management is of increasing importance in horticultural operations. A growing global population and changes in water availability will mean that less water will be available for ornamental plant production. There are also a growing number of federal and state regulations regarding water use and runoff from production areas. Better irrigation and fertilization management practices will help to limit the environmental impact of container plant production by limiting the runoff of water and nutrients from nurseries.

Spatial and Temporal Management of Forest Cover and Urban Impacts for Water Resources Sustainability

Urbanizing watersheds in the northeastern United States face rapid changes in forest cover, urbanization, and conflicts in water use (USGS, 2002) that require careful evaluation of trends in components of the watershed system. This research will evaluate land use/land cover changes, assess their impacts on surface and groundwater supplies, and evaluate forest management strategies in a rapidly urbanizing watershed in southeastern Massachusetts.

The Role of Turicibacter and Butyrate in Mediating Intestinal Tumorigenesis Associated with High Fat Diet-induced Obesity

Mounting epidemiological and experimental evidence consistently indicates that obesity is a robust risk factor, with 50~100% increase in risk for CRC. As obesity has reached an epidemic level and increases in the scope of the problem are projected, it is critical to understand the mechanism(s) responsible for the link and thereby to develop preventive strategies. The ultimate goal is, through the completion of this project, to facilitate the development of preventive approaches to diminish dietary obesity associated CRC.

Understanding Growth, Survival, & Maintenance Costs of Newly-established Urban Oak Trees, Produced Using Differing Nursery Methods.

There is widespread interest in greening municipalities and increasing urban tree canopy cover, largely through local community-based tree planting initiatives. It is generally estimated that newly-installed  trees require at least 3 or more years before establishment, when they resume pre-transplant growth rates. Most trees installed in the urban environment are dug from the nursery field with a spade, and wrapped in burlap and a metal basket ('balled and burlap' or 'B&B').

Asian pear fire blight inoculation/canker study

Fire blight is a major threat to apple production in USA. It can destroy thousands of high density trees per farm in epidemic conditions. Our priority is to address this threat by development of pest risk assessment through quantifying survival of fire blight bacterium Erwinia amylovora in wood cankers as main sources for infection. We will determine its survival in relation to apple and pear cultivar susceptibility, tree drought stress, and winter cold. Current fire blight prediction models assume successful fire blight survival in cankers every year.

Peach/nectarine/plum variety evaluation

Over 75 named and numbered peach/nectarine and plum varieties/selections are under casual evaluation and demonstration at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard. Most of them are varieties/selection from the Fruit Acres/Stellar, Paul Friday/Flaming Fury, and Rutgers/Adams County Nursery breeding and variety introduction programs. Data collected includes flowering, yield, and fruit quality (size, color, firmness, brix, maturity, and taste/consumer acceptance), and  pest susceptibility.

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