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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.

UMass Amherst study shows ‘hydropeaking’ can reduce downstream river flows

Mar 31, 2015

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.

Expanding New England Winter Farmers’ Markets

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).

‘No smoking gun’: Pipeline environmental impact report cite positives, negatives of route

Apr 22, 2015

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)

Center Publishes Study on Proposed Pipeline Route

Apr 16, 2015

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.

Massachusetts Food System Planners Want YOU!

Jan 29, 2015

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.

City Cancels UMass Lease

Dec 2, 2014

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.

Western Mass tomatoes stricken with blight

Sep 5, 2014

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.

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